Information for parents and carers

Guidance on maintaining educational provision

Free School Meals

Argyll and Bute Council will be opening 10 of its school kitchens from Monday (23 March) to ensure that children who are entitled to free school meals can continue to receive those meals.

The following kitchens will be open every weekday between 12 noon and 12.30pm so that a lunch can be collected for anyone entitled to a free school meal: Dunoon Grammar; Rothesay Joint Campus; Oban High; Colgrain Primary; Castlehill Primary; Lochgilphead Joint Campus; Tarbert Academy; Tiree High; Tobermory High; and Islay High.

The number of kitchens that are open may also be expanded depending on demand in the coming weeks.

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

Teaching staff work hard to deliver remote learning resources for pupils

Reassurance for Argyll and Bute's senior pupils

Childcare for children of key workers

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.