Information for parents and carers

Guidance on maintaining educational provision     School Meals

Teaching staff work hard to deliver remote learning resources for pupils

Reassurance for Argyll and Bute's senior pupils

Early Years

The council's early years team provides a helpline for parents, carers and providers of childcare services. This helpline will remain open from 9am until 5pm, Monday to Friday, to provide support.

If you have a query about childcare provision, ideas for learning, or simply want a chat during this unsettling time, contact the team on 01369 708 503 or email earlyyears@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Additional information and support from the Early Years team

Parent and Carer support line

Get in touch – the educational psychology service is here to help, if you are a concerned parent or carer you can call the parent and carer support line – please see our Educational Psychology home page for details

The phone line is available - Mondays 9.30am until 12.00 noon  Wednesdays 4.30pm until 7.00pm  Fridays 9.30am until 12.00 noon

We have also put together additional resources to help you to have conversations about Coronavirus with your child, and to direct you to sources of support and information, as well as information on accessing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) - you can find this information in the Our children, their mental health section 

Keyworker Support

If you are a Keyworker who does not have another parent or carer who can look after your children during the day and have a requirement for childcare please contact us at seemis@argyll-bute.gov.uk.

Hubs have been set up at the following schools:

Bute
Rothesay Joint Campus

Cowal
Dunoon Grammar School
Kilmodan Primary School

Helensburgh & Lomond
Colgrain Primary School
Garelochhead Primary School

Islay
Bowmore Primary School

Kintyre North
Tarbert Academy

Kintyre South
Castlehill Primary School

Mid-Argyll
Lochgilphead Joint Campus

Mull
Tobermory High School

Oban
Oban Primary Campus

Tiree
Tiree High School 

Education Maintenance Allowance

Q Will EMA continue to be paid now decision has been made to close schools?

A - An authorised absence would include a scenario where the learning centre is closed due to unforeseen circumstances. This would apply in this instance and therefore you would continue to be paid.

Q Will students who are in Self Isolation because of Coronavirus receive their EMA payments?

A - An authorised absence includes ill health and additionally the breakdown of a student’s method of transport to and from the institution, a scenario which could arise in future. This also applies to those who have self-isolated due to their parents/carers having health issues which put them at risk.  Therefore you would continue to be paid.

Q Will everyone whose application has been authorised on the system continue to receive EMA over any self -imposed isolation and/or complete shutdown of the schools/colleges?

A Yes. As stated above the guidance allows for absence for unforeseen circumstances, which is applicable in this current situation. We appreciate that many doctors surgeries will not be in a position to issue medical certificates in most cases and would urge that you view such cases sympathetically and follow the discretion which the guidance allows.

Placing requests – amendments to Regulations

The deadline for local authorities to process placing requests (requests to attend a different school to the one in your catchment area) has been extended by the Scottish Government to allow for disruptions caused by Covid-19.

The amendments have come into force through the Education (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020, and are as follows:

  • The deadline for initial decisions on placing requests received before 15 March has been extended from 30 April to 31 May. Parents will then still have 28 days after that to request an appeal.
  • for any placing requests received after the 15 March deadline, there will be an extended deadline of three months, rather than two, before they become a deemed refusal.
  • extensions and relaxing of the intermittent timescales for acknowledgements etc by the Education Appeal Committees (EAC), for example, removing the requirement to arrange appeal hearings within 14 days of an appeal request.
  • an extension of the deadline for the EAC holding a hearing from 28 days to three months, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • Adjustment of the deadline where the EAC’s failure to make a decision on an appeal becomes a deemed refusal from two months to four months.
  • extension of the deadline for EACs to communicate their decision to 28 days.
  • for placing requests for additional support needs - a month extension of the 30 April deadline for initial decisions on placing requests received before 15 March, to 31 May; adjustment of the deadline where a failure by the EAC to make a decision on the appeal becomes a deemed refusal from two months to four months; and extension of the deadline for EACs to communicate their decision to 28 days.
  • for exclusion appeals – the deemed refusal deadline remains one month from an appeal being received by the committee.