From Scotland’s Young People

This is a consultation released by the Scottish Youth Parliament, intended to engage with as many young people (aged 12-25) across Scotland as possible.  The consultation will help to form the 2021-2026 Scottish Youth Parliament Manifesto which will directly shape our work. The findings will also influence political parties’ manifestos in the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections, to ensure that young people are being heard at a national level.

The link to the survey is below:

Senior Awards Ceremony

Our annual Senior Awards Ceremony will this year, for the first time ever, be delivered as an online live stream.  We look forward to award winners and their families joining us to celebrate the successes of our young people. Parents and carers of award winners have been emailed a link.

Pupil Achievement

Congratulations to Michael (S5) who received an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons today.  This recognises Michael’s amazing achievements with volunteering to encourage biodiversit and sustainability.  Pictured with Kirsten Oswald MSP and Councillor Annette Ireland.

Parental Sessions

There is a programme of free online information sessions in September for parents and Parent Councils.
There is a choice of times for each session, either 1.30pm or 8pm . Places are free, booking is essential via the links.

1 September

Parent Councils – What’s Our Role Now?

How can PCs work positively in the current situation? We will offer practical advice on how a Parent Council may help support parents/carers and the school community and find new ways to fulfil their role in the current situation.
3 September

Online Q&A – How are you doing?   

We would like to invite parents and parent groups to an informal online chat We’re keen to know how Connect can help your parent group in this current situation. Please tell us about what your parent group needs and about your experiences.

We’d also like to hear about your parent group’s activities, ideas and plans and to share these with other groups. Let’s have a chat about how we can help each other.

8 September

Role of Parent Council/PTA Chairs

For new and more experienced PC/PTA Chairs. Top tips for running effective meetings and dealing with tricky situations.  Advice on holding meetings online, setting agendas, working with other office bearers and working in partnership with your head teacher.
10 September

Reaching Out to All Families

Practical help to make sure everyone is included, supported and involved in your school community Who is engaged with the school community?  Who is missing?  What are the challenges faced by some families that make engagement difficult?  How can your PC and school community help to overcome these challenges?  This session will help you to engage more and different families in school and learning.
15 September

Role of Parent Council/PTA Treasurer

For new and more experienced Treasurers Find out how to look after PC/PTA funds, report to meetings/AGM and comply with Connect membership-linked insurance.
17 September

Building School & Community Partnerships

For parents/carers, school staff, community organisations, working together to improve outcomes for children and young people. Practical ideas for your parent group to help your school move forward with projects around literacy, numeracy, health & wellbeing and many other areas.  We will look at how your school currently engages families and the wider community in children’s learning and how different types of involvement can help to improve outcomes for children and young people in the current situation.


24 September

Connect + Parenting Across Scotland  

Looking after yourself and your family The current situation has presented many challenges to parents/carers and a new set of pressures on family relationships. This session looks at things you can do to defuse difficult situations and care for yourself and your family.



Pupil Achievement

Congratulations to Ellie (S6) who was successful in auditioning to become a member of the Scottish Opera Young Company for their 2020/2021 season. She is one of the youngest members of the Company and will train for a series of public performances in the summer of 2021.

Parent Council

Any parent/carer who would like join or find out more about the Parent Council should contact Simon Cunningham, Chair.

The Parent Council deal with different school matters and at the moment, are in discussion with First Bus regarding transport.  A copy of a letter can be viewed here.


Nut Policy

Nut Free Policy

A number of pupils and staff in school suffer from allergies. People who suffer from allergies can develop a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. If someone has a nut allergy it is not just eating nuts that can cause a severe reaction; just being touched on the skin or smelling the breath of someone who has had nuts or a product containing nuts can trigger anaphylactic shock which can cause breathing and swallowing difficulties which can sometimes be fatal.  The letter has been issued to all parents/carers here.

Nuts are not allowed in school in any form.  We ask that you have no nut products in your lunch boxes or in staff bases, for example: 

      Peanut butter sandwiches

       Chocolate spreads

       Cereal bars

       Granola bars

       Cakes that contain nuts

       Biscuits / Cookies that contain nuts

       Peanut butter cakes

       Chocolates including Roses, Heroes, Celebrations, Quality Street

This list is not exhaustive, so please check the packaging of products closely.

All product packaging must be checked for warnings directed at allergy sufferers and if the following or similar are displayed, the product must not be brought:

·         Not suitable for nut allergy suffers

·         This product contains nuts

·         This product may contain traces of nuts

First Bus Update

Please find below communication from First Bus:

Dear School,

As will already be aware, the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant effect on everyone’s lives and has raised a number of challenges for all of us in terms of adapting to new ways of working and living, with the ultimate aim of keeping everyone safe on the journey towards a new kind of normal.

At First Glasgow, we’re proud to have been able to keep the city and surrounding areas moving through the delivery of essential journeys throughout lockdown and, as businesses and schools begin to reopen, we’re welcoming back more and more customers as they set out on their own journeys towards a new normal at work or school.

The vast majority of the services that we operate are now back running at their pre-covid levels in terms of how frequent each route runs. However, with physical distancing in place to keep everyone safe while they travel on public transport, each of our buses at the present time, and for the foreseeable future, has restricted capacity on board at a level of approximately 50%. To put this into a plain context, our single decker buses can each only hold a maximum of 17-20 passengers, while our double decker fleet can only take a maximum of roughly 34-38 passengers.

Given that we only have around half of the normal seating capacity available to use, and with our entire fleet already in use, there is a very real risk that large numbers of pupils will not be able to board their initial bus of choice, or indeed a subsequent trip that follows on our busiest routes, and they therefore risk being stranded at the bus stop. We expect this situation to be at its most prevalent during the morning and afternoon peaks at school entry/exit times.

With that in mind, we decided to contact schools along many of our bus routes to make them aware of this issue upfront and to advise that schools make plans for this information to be communicated internally to students and to further cascade this information out to the parents of attending pupils.

The capacity restrictions that we’re dealing with are one of the biggest challenges that we’ve ever faced, and we cannot stress enough how important it is that parents realise the strain that bus networks will come under when schools return. We’d therefore appreciate any assistance that schools may be able to give via their own communication channels to get the message out to parents not to just assume that their children will be able to hop on the first bus that comes along.

While this situation is far from ideal, I can assure you that we’re doing absolutely everything possible to mitigate the effects of instances of full buses, and our service network will therefore continue to be reviewed regularly in an attempt to adapt to ever changing demand.

In the meantime, we do have a number of new journey planning and real time data tools that can be accessed through our website and app to help passengers check exactly how busy a bus is as it operates along the route, as well as a space checker function to help plan ahead and travel at quieter times. These are:

First Bus App: Now shows on a live basis, exactly where buses are on a route, with each bus on the map also showing how many free seats there are on board – it even tells you whether or not the wheelchair space is available. When a bus reaches its maximum capacity, it will show as ‘full’ on the app map and the screen on the front of the bus of the affected trip will show ‘Bus Full due to Social Distancing’.

First Bus Space Checker: This function is a new feature only on our website for the moment, but it helps customers to plan their travel movements up to 7 days in advance and identify on the routes that they intend to use when buses are busy and quiet. This works by analysing the data from each service from the previous week and generating a ‘capacity heat map’ that shows when the routes are at their busiest, and when they tend to be quieter. The function is designed to help spread passenger demand across the route and encourage travel at quieter times, thereby helping to reduce instances of buses becoming full where possible, through advance customer planning.

I hope that the above information is helpful in outlining the challenges we as a bus operator are currently facing with physical distancing in force, as well as the advances in journey planning methods and frequent network reviews that we’ve introduced to try and mitigate instances of buses becoming full where possible. If you have any questions on our services, or if I can assist any further, please do get in touch.

Robert Burns

Stakeholder Engagement Officer (Scotland)