COVID-19 Additional Questions

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information page contains up to date information and a list of frequently answered questions. If you have any further questions please leave it as a comment and we will aim to add to the information already provided.

Many Thanks

43 thoughts on “COVID-19 Additional Questions”

  1. Why on earth do teachers have to be in school when the pupils are off? This means husbands, wives and partners are forced to take annual leave for the week. Common sense here please.

    1. Children are a low risk group and schools are generally safe areas. It is important we support key workers in health, social care and emergency services to maintain an effective service and to do that we require to provide support in schools. Teachers are critical key workers in this regard and will continue to provide education through a variety of means including direct and online resources and we are working to put in place the support they require in order to do this.

    1. We are working to put in place childcare and educational support for key workers and details of this we hope to publish tomorrow.

    1. We are working to put in place childcare and educational support for key workers and details of this we hope to publish tomorrow.

  2. Can if ask that now that CNES schools have closed as of Friday this week, is there any information available about potential emergency childcare provision for Health Care and other essential workers in the Western Isles? Much appreciated.

    1. We are working to put in place childcare and educational support for key workers and details of this we hope to publish tomorrow.

  3. I’m worried about all the students that have come home should they be self isolating.

    I work closely with the public but I am self employed should I stop working?

    1. The Scottish Government defines key workers as those in posts which ensure that essential services can be delivered and cover tasks within the local community which support the vulnerable and aid community resilience. Examples given include: Health & Care workers; Police; Fire; Social workers; staff providing childcare or learning to key workers. The Comhairle is working with health and social care and emergency planning colleagues to identify eligible staff and provision will be made for identified staff only. To allow time to do this, we ask that, from Monday 23 March 2020, parents self-identify at schools if they consider themselves to be eligible for this provision.

  4. The children of key workers will benefit from at least a full term of professional level education, social stimulation and a range of other benefits associated with the school environment. The children of non key workers (particularly single parents) will contend with running businesses / working at home whilst simultaneously home schooling child(ren) in an isolated environment. How will the council address the inevitable attainment gap arising from key worker children and non key worker children? Will there be an option to hold children back a year, if many of their peers were schooled during this period?

    1. Headteachers are working on a range of options for all pupils including e-Learning, learning support packs, marking of papers and direct access in some circumstances with pupils or groups of pupils. Information will be provided on Groupcall, podcasts and live stream.

      1. Many thanks, this support will be hugely helpful and no doubt lessen the attainment gap for many families. However the council must be aware that this will support will not approach the same quality of teaching as it would in a professional environment, with trained professionals, particularly with parents who still need to juggle home schooling and working at home. There will be a disparity in education quality between the children who continue to be schooled and those who are not, despite these resources. How will this gap be addressed, and will parents have an option to hold children back a year if they are unable to deliver the complete requirements of home schooling.

        1. Schools are providing the same comprehensive packages of support to pupils of key workers attending school and pupils who are at home. Pupils in school are not following their previously timetabled classes but are being supervised whilst they carry out the work allocated electronically. At this stage it is not anticipated that there will be gaps in learning as no children are following time-tabled classes at this time.

    1. Oil Rig Workers are not currently identified as key workers in the guidance available. The Scottish Government defines key workers as those in posts which ensure that essential services can be delivered and cover tasks within the local community which support the vulnerable and aid community resilience. Examples given include: Health & Care workers; Police; Fire; Social workers; staff providing childcare or learning to key workers. The guidance goes on to say that, if one parent is a key worker and the other is not, the non-key worker should normally be expected to provide childcare. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be. The following guidance issued on 20 March 2020 provides more information https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus—school-and-elc-closures-guidance-on-critical-childcare-provision-for-key-workers/

  5. If you are a Nhs worker and on standby for work ? Do you put your children to school as normal ? Or are you expected to drop them off , if you get a call in the middle of home schooling , some clarification please , thanks

    1. The provision is for the children of key workers where there is no alternative childcare available to them. The Comhairle is working with health and social care and emergency planning colleagues to identify eligible staff and provision will be made for identified staff only. If you are not on a list already identified by your employer as a critical employee, you will need to contact your employer or line manager to ask them to contact the Education & Children’s Services Department.

      1. I am a key worker with a 10month old and a 9year old with no alternative childcare as my husband is still working what am I ment to do with my 10month old?

  6. Can you explain why government advice is to not go to pubs and cafes, but it is an acceptable risk for the pupils in s4, 5 and 6 to go to school for 7 hours in larger numbers than any of the bars in Stornoway?

    1. The Scottish Government updated their advice on Sunday 22nd March and S4-6 pupils SHOULD NOT ATTEND to complete course work as previously intimated. Schools will work with students to complete any outstanding coursework remotely, where possible.

  7. In an email which I received today I have been told that it is an option for my child to attend in order to complete outstanding course work. I assume, therefore, that it is also an option for her not to attend. Please advise me what the possible consequences of her not attending are.

    1. Following a further announcement by Scottish Government on Sunday 22nd March, S4-6 pupils SHOULD NOT ATTEND to complete course work as previously intimated. Schools will work with students to complete any outstanding coursework remotely, where possible.

  8. I posted two comments last night but they seem to have disappeared! Into the ether…
    Firstly,
    I am extremely concerned about the arrangement to allow 4th to 6th year pupils in to school to finish exam coursework. This is in direct contravention to govt guidelines on social distancing. Please explain why all group activities across the nation have been cancelled yet the school is asking what could theoretically be 100 teachers and 300 pupils to attend? This is over and above the key worker groups.

    1. The Scottish Government updated their advice on Sunday 22nd March and S4-6 pupils SHOULD NOT ATTEND to complete course work as previously intimated. Schools will work with students to complete any outstanding coursework remotely, where possible.

  9. Can you please clarify what risk assessment is being undertaken with regard to pupils attending next week? Is there a deep clean of the school planned, and what special cleaning measures have already taken place?

    1. A Risk Assessment has been considered on the basis of low numbers, space and the fact that all schools have daily cleaning. Measures were put in place at the beginning of the month for cleaners to pay particular attention to frequently touched objects and surfaces like door handles and tables. Cleaners are being asked to carry out a deep clean of their school this week however due to staff shortages deep cleans for some locations will be delayed until we have the staff to do this.

  10. The Scottish Government has today overturned the decision that S4-6 pupils attend school to complete coursework or risk not achieving their qualification.

    It is staggering that this was ever suggested. It has caused untold additional stress because people are failing to grasp the serious threat we are facing. This is real. People are dying. People on this island are going to die before their time. What is it going to take………

  11. Will children entitled to free school meals be given vouchers in lieu of this? I am referring to children who will not be attending school.

    1. Options are being explored by staff about how to continue to support families on Free School Meals. This is expected to be finalised shortly and notified to parents.

  12. My post I posted last night has also disappeared! Into the ether….
    Are you only answering selected posts?
    Can you confirm that children who are entitled to free school meals will get vouchers instead to buy food. I am referring to children who are entitled to free school meals who will not be attending school or the so call resilience centres,

    1. Apologies for the delay in responding. Options are being explored by Resources staff about how to continue to support families on Free School Meals. This is expected to be finalised shortly and notified to parents.

  13. I’d be interested to know how many children of nurses were turned away from your school’s this morning.? Our workforce will be depleted before this illness really hits.

    1. The Comhairle issued advice on 20 March regarding Pupil Attendance at School Buildings from 23 March and posted updated advice on Education Provision for Key Workers on the Comhairle website on 22 March. The Comhairle launched an online “Key Worker Registration for Education Provision” system on 23 March and registration is open now for Wednesday 25 March onwards but we ask that key workers continue to self-identify on Tuesday morning. Any employee completing the form MUST have had confirmation from their employer that they are considered a key worker however the service can only be used by key workers who have NO OTHER CHILDCARE AVAILABLE.
      The Comhairle recognize the vital role that health staff and other key workers have in keeping us all safe and well. It is unfortunate if there have been some issues on the first day of implementation prior to the introduction of the registration system and we apologies to anyone affected.

    1. The Comhairle issued advice on 20 March regarding Pupil Attendance at School Buildings from 23 March and posted updated advice on Education Provision for Key Workers on the Comhairle website on 22 March. The Comhairle launched an online “Key Worker Registration for Education Provision” system on 23 March and registration is open now for Wednesday 25 March onwards but we ask that key workers continue to self-identify on Tuesday morning. Any employee completing the form MUST have had confirmation from their employer that they are considered a key worker however the service can only be used by key workers who have NO OTHER CHILDCARE AVAILABLE.
      The Comhairle recognize the vital role that health staff and other key workers have in keeping us all safe and well. It is unfortunate if there have been some issues on the first day of implementation prior to the introduction of the registration system and we apologies to anyone affected.

  14. Are there figures on number of pupils that attended all the resilience centres, and individually, today?

    And will the Director of education be giving a further update today?

  15. Can you indicate what the local authority are doing to help alleviate period poverty during this time, as council buildings available to young girls are all closed?

    1. The Comhairle will be sending out packs of sanitary products to female pupils in receipt of clothing grants, free school meals or EMA. These packs are designed to last until the end of June, will go out for delivery this week and be with pupils next week.

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