The National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS) welcomes the Scottish Government’s strategic framework for reopening Schools and Early Learning and Childcare Settings. We look forward to more detailed information of the measures that will be put in place, so that parents can be confident that their children can return to schools and early learning settings safely.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in the Scottish Parliament today,
“These arrangements will not represent a complete return to normality by August, but we judge them to be the most sensible and safe approach we can plan for at this stage.
“To reflect the fact that children will still be doing part of their learning at home we are going to invest a further £30m to provide laptops for disadvantaged children and young people to enable them study online.
“I want to take a moment to say a huge thank you to parents, carers and teachers who are doing so much to ensure children continue to learn during this lockdown period. And I want to send a special message to children and young people themselves…”
The framework has been jointly developed with Scottish Government and Local Government, with support from key partners across the education system, including the NPFS.
The framework will be used in conjunction with Local Phasing Delivery Plans and further details will be set out within the coming days and weeks. This is to enable as many children and young people as possible to return to education and care settings at the earliest possible date.
The date of reopening has been set for 11thAugust across Scotland, although this will be dependent on factors such as scientific and medical advice and the implementation of public health measures. This universal approach will bring benefits to children who have been away from school for a considerable time.
Our Chair, Joanna Murphy, said:
“As a member of the Education Recovery Group I have tried to represent the parent voice. Many questions still need to be answered but we welcome these initial plans and are pleased that time will be taken to prioritise the safety of our children and school staff.
I am confident that schools will make this year’s ‘back to school’ feel as normal as possible for our children but the reality is it will be different, and so we are glad to see that there will be a focus on nurturing mental health and wellbeing in the new term.
The new ‘blended’ model of in-school and home learning will ensure that all children and young people will benefit from face to face contact with their teachers and friends in their school setting for part of the time, with continued learning at home support for parents in the remainder.
This has been a deeply worrying time for us all in many ways, not least the effect on our children’s education which will not just disappear with this news. But we are well placed in Scotland to embrace this new learning pattern and reflect on all the interesting and innovative home learning that has gone on in recent weeks. Parents have risen to the challenge that Covid19 forced on them. I am sure that this new found empowerment will lead to strengthened engagement with schools and learning for our children which will be beneficial for us all in the future.”
There are many helpful resources available for parents and their children. Have a look on our website for useful links: www.parentforumscotland.org.uk.
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*NOTES TO EDITORS*
The National Parent Forum of Scotland is a national body led by and for parents. Since its inception in 2009, it has undergone rapid development and is now an influential national and independent body, working on behalf of parents across Scotland to help every pre-school and school pupil maximise their potential.
The National Parent Forum of Scotland is comprised of one volunteer parent/carer representative from each of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas. Please visit www.parentforumscotland.org for more details.