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Children and Families Service Additional Support Needs Advice Line

Children and Families Service

Additional Support Needs Advice Line

Our advice line opens on Monday 18th January. We will be available to take your calls on Mondays from 10am till 12pm and Thursdays from 2pm till 4 pm.

  

This phone line is for parents, carers and professionals to discuss any concerns you may have or ask for any advice in relation to additional support needs and supporting learning.

Please call 01382 433377 during the times outlined above and we will try and answer your queries.

The Tayside Strategy for Parents Delivery Plan Consultation

 

The Tayside Strategy for Parents 2019-2024 was developed following consultation with parents, those with a parenting role and service providers.  Work has begun on identifying actions that we believe will improve the experience and outcomes for parents and their families, and we now want to hear the views of parents and those with a parenting role on the draft delivery plan, parenting offer and proposal to establish a parent’s panel.

To access the consultation visit  https://consult.pkc.gov.uk/ecs/tayside-strategy-for-parents-ddp2021

For information we have produced a short talking head (https://youtu.be/T87oo8L8v04)  as an introduction to why we are consulting and what we want to hear parents’ views on.

If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to email TayParents@pkc.gov.uk 

Thank you for your support.

Jacqui Doig

Development Officer

Tayside Strategy for Parents

P7/S1 Transition Video

Here is the link to our welcome video to help P7 transition up to S1.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B05csgW4uPg

COVID-19 SCHOOL AND NURSERY ARRANGEMENTS FROM 7 JANUARY 2021

COVID-19 SCHOOL AND NURSERY ARRANGEMENTS FROM 7 JANUARY 2021

 

 

Following the announcement by the First Minister on Monday 4 January, we want to update you on arrangements for the start of term. These arrangements are designed to reduce the transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) which means that we need to reduce the number of children and young people attending schools and nurseries until at least 1 February 2021.

 

Staffing

 

Thursday 7 and Friday 8 January 2021

 

All Schools and Early Learning and Childcare settings will be open for staff and targeted children and young people - vulnerable children and children of key workers.

 

Teaching and Support Staff in Primary and Early Years establishments who are fit and well should report to their place of work as normal on Thursday 7 January 2021.  Staff who are currently self-isolating according to NHS or Council guidelines, are shielding or are in the latter stages of pregnancy and will be working at home, should discuss this with their line manager before Thursday. Staff who have concerns about underlying health conditions should also get in touch with their line manager to discuss their working arrangements.

 

Secondary teaching and support staff who are fit and well should be prepared to report to their place of work on Thursday 7 January 2021 as informed by their Head Teacher. The number of staff required will be determined by the anticipated need for the first two days.  Staff who are currently self-isolating according to NHS or Council guidelines, are shielding or are in the latter stages of pregnancy and will be working at home, should discuss this with their line manager before Thursday. Staff who have concerns about underlying health conditions should also get in touch with their line manager to discuss their working arrangements.

 

Please contact your Education Officer, Manager or HR for advice regarding any health conditions for staff you are unsure of in relation to attendance in the establishment.

 

Children and young people attending on these two days are for childcare only. All other children and young people will remain on holiday until Monday 11 January 2021.

 

From 11 January 2021

 

Remote learning or in school learning resumes for all children and young people.

 

Schools should determine which staff are required and finalise the rotas/timetables to ensure safe delivery of learning and provision to those in school and nursery whilst also ensuring the delivery of remote learning for those young people learning from home.

 

It is anticipated that once the level of need for each school and nursery is identified, teaching and support staff will be advised when they are required to report to the establishment and when to work from home.

 

The number of staff required will be determined by the anticipated need over the next 3 weeks until at least 1 February 2021 and will be subject to change. Staff should be aware that arrangements and rotas will need to be flexible to meet the need.

 

Vulnerable Children and Young People

 

Schools and Nurseries have used the National Practice Model (SHANARRI) to identify children and young people who are vulnerable, including those with complex additional support needs. These children should be asked to attend school and nursery as planned and parents should be informed by schools. We will require to follow safeguarding procedures if these children do not attend in the same way we consider absence. Protocols for safeguarding for the highest risk pupils are already in place.

 

Appendix 1 provides helpful guidance for the definition of VCYP.

 

Key Workers

 

We are awaiting further clarification regarding the definition of key workers but are already anticipating that more children and young people will be deemed to be in need of such a place on this occasion. For example, many DCC employees, including our own staff, will be key workers. We are also aware that contact tracing was scaled up significantly since the last year’s lockdown and therefore may not be reflected in current key worker processes. We wanted to ensure that everyone was aware that in light of their role in tackling the pandemic, contact tracers and those supporting Test and Trace fall under category 1 for key worker childcare as will those who are supporting the vaccination programme.

 

Further guidance on schools and nurseries in the current period, including key workers, is due to be published in the near future, and we asked for Scottish Government for contacting tracing to be explicitly mentioned as category 1.  

 

Schools and nurseries should respond to individual requests from keyworkers applying with a sensitive and pragmatic approach. 

 

We will continue to monitor and review the demand for each school and nursery and the data around these two groups is key in determining the level of staffing that will be required over the next few weeks.

 

Early Years Settings and Nursery classes

 

Will open for identified vulnerable children and key workers for normal hours and provision.

 

Places for eligible 2 year olds


At the end of last term, we were advised by the Scottish Government that:

 

Children who are eligible for a funded 2-year-old place can continue to access provision, even if they do not strictly meet the definition of vulnerable children set out in the guidance


You are asked therefore to consider whether to extend this access to any other eligible 2-year-old not already included in your plans as you are best placed to make this decision based on your knowledge of families' needs. 


For those eligible 2-year old’s we considered vulnerable before this new information, we would offer their normal pattern of attendance and then it's for Head Teachers and Centre Managers to assess whether there is an offer to any other children eligible for a 2-year-old place and if so, whether it's part time or full time - there is no rule for this, it's professional judgement and based on each family's circumstances.

 

In relation to those 2-year olds who were considered vulnerable at the end of last term and are moving to the 3-5's soon, then if they are still considered vulnerable, an offer of a place should be considered. For clarity, we are not suggesting we apply the two's eligibility criteria to all 3-5's.

 

Kingspark/Rockwell Learning Centre

 

Kingspark and Rockwell Learning Centre are making provision for children and young people who are vulnerable and whose parents are key workers. 

 

For children and young people in Kingspark we must ensure their health and protection which means monitoring numbers on a daily basis. This means that some children and young people who need to self-isolate will receive targeted outreach support.

 

Additional Support Needs

 

All schools and nurseries must have considered planning for children and young people with Additional Support Needs in their recovery plans. They should be based on what they already know about the child’s needs and review their individual plans in light of any impact of Covid-19. If there are things which have increased the vulnerability or risks for a child, this will be considered in the planning for their return. 

 

A risk assessment plan is in place for every school and nursery to ensure that there are appropriate safety measures and controls including safe physical distance and hygiene control. 

 

Some children and young people need additional support, which means that different considerations are required, for example, where staff need to help with intimate care, provision of some medications and healthcare supports. However, schools will have carried out individual risk assessments to ensure everyone stays safe. For example, they will decide whether PPE should be worn. At all times the wellbeing, safety and best interests of children and the staff will be carefully considered. 

 

School Meal Arrangements

 

Lunch will be provided for all children and young people in attendance at school and nursery ‑ this will be a hot bagged meal option delivered in the normal way as per the end of last term. These will be served mainly in the dining centres or nursery playrooms.

 

Other children entitled to FSM will be allocated a direct payment.

 

The time of the lunches for schools will be between 12.15pm and 1.15pm and Tayside Contracts will inform Head Teachers which production kitchen will be providing for their school. The timings for lunches for nursery will be as per the agreed timings prior to the end of term.

 

Transport

 

Transport will be provided for Kingspark/Frances Wright and those vulnerable children schools have asked to attend who require transport. 

 

 

 

Breakfast Clubs/Out of School Care Clubs

 

School run Breakfast Clubs will operate.

 

Breakfast Club provision will be available for those who would normally attend and are also identified as key workers/vulnerable pupils attending the school as normal.

 

OOSC Clubs will run as normal where the club has decided it is viable to run i.e. in current school week hours for any who already attend.

 

Communications

 

There will be further communications issued centrally for parents, children and young people and it would be appreciated if you could share these through as many channels as you have available.

 

 

 

Appendix 1

Vulnerable children and young people – definition                                 

 

Children and young people may be vulnerable because of factors related to their personal development, features of their family life, or because of wider influences that impact on them within their community.

 

Those children who were considered to be vulnerable prior to the pandemic should have been known to services, and are likely to have had a child’s plan.

 

Where a child requires co-ordinated support from more than one agency, this is likely to suggest greater vulnerability, and the plan would be co-ordinated by a lead professional. This would include a range of children and young people, such as those:

 

·       at risk of significant harm, with a child protection plan

·       looked after at home, or away from home

·       ‘on the edge of care’, where families would benefit from additional support

·       with additional support needs, where there are one or more factors which require significant or co-ordinated support

·       affected by disability

·       where they and/or their parents are experiencing poor physical or mental health

·       experiencing adversities including domestic abuse and bereavement

·       requiring support when they are involved in making transitions at critical stages in their lives.

·        

Children and families may also experience adversity because of the impact of poverty and disadvantage (including entitlement to free school meals), and many will be facing this because of the necessary measures to respond to the pandemic.  This will include families with loss of income, experiencing social isolation, or otherwise struggling because of the lockdown.

 

Decision making for this group

 

Local authorities and health boards, working with partners including third sector organisations, will either know or be able to identify the children and families within their areas who are potentially at risk and therefore need additional support.  The need for additional support can be identified prior to birth, so this should include help for pregnant women.

 

Crucially, vulnerability is not an exclusive concept, but should take account of all of these factors and others, that means that a child and family may need additional support. The judgement of the children’s sector professionals – critically those working most closely with the family – will be paramount in assessing vulnerability.

 

Those who work directly with children and young people are best placed to identify children and young people who will require support in order to ensure their wellbeing, as a result of these exceptional phased opening arrangements.

 

Named Person (key point of contact) service

 

Named persons as key points of contact are a very important first response for vulnerable children (as defined above).

Christmas Message

 

23rd December 2020

Dear Parent/Carers

Your kindness and generosity has completely overwhelmed us during these challenging times. Your support and understanding have enabled us to deliver the highest standard of learning and teaching in the current circumstances. We really appreciate the work you have done to ensure that your young people are engaging in their learning and undertaking all tasks set by staff. We do not underestimate how difficult it is to turn your home in to a classroom. We ask for your continued support as we move forward into the new term.

I would like to thank you for your donations for our St Vincent De Paul Conference. It is sometimes difficult to believe that we can make a difference, however every single donation has made life a little easier for someone this Christmas. We raised £1000 and gave 75 bags of groceries to the local community. Our staff donated £1500 and yesterday they delivered a number of Christmas Hampers to our families.

These collective actions of the Family of St John’s remind me of the words of Saint Teresa of Calcutta.
“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do….but how much love we put in that action”. 

It is clear that The Family of St John’s has an abundance of love to share.

On Monday afternoon we shared the most wonderful celebration of Holy Mass with our School Chaplain, Father Michael. We were joined by the staff and pupils from Our Lady’s, St Peter & St Paul’s, St Mary’s, St Clements, St Ninians and St Joseph’s Primary Schools. We were also delighted to welcome the children and staff of Woodlea Nursery to Mass. This was indeed a very special time for all of us in the Family of St John’s.

I hope that you and your family are all well and that you have a very happy Christmas.

Wishing you the Peace and Joy of Christmas
God Bless
Fiona McLagan

SQA Announcement – National 5, Higher and Advanced Highers

Friday 18th December 2020

SQA Announcement – National 5, Higher and Advanced Highers.

Dear Parent / Carer and Senior Pupil,

Higher and Advanced Higher

As I am sure you are already aware, the Scottish Government announced on 8th December that SQA examinations at both Higher and Advanced Higher levels will not be a part of the certification process this year. 

SQA have written to schools anticipating that the approach to awarding Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications will follow broadly the same model and timeline set for National 5 courses, but with more flexibility around the nature of the learner evidence needed to inform awards.  As and when we have more detailed information, I assure you I will contact you again.

 

National 5

As you are aware, the Scottish Government announced, in October, that there would be no National 5 examinations this session.  The table below notes the process that the school, Dundee City Council and SQA will go through before this year’s final grades are awarded:

        November 2020 to March 2021

Teachers use guidance and assessment materials to help gather learner evidence.

 

January – April 2021

SQA requests, reviews and provides feedback on samples of assessment evidence from all schools.

 

March – May 2021

Teachers continue to use guidance and assessment materials to help gather learner evidence.

Schools and local authorities will work through SQA feedback and carry out their own quality assurance of the provisional results.

 

By 28th May 2021

Schools submit quality assured provisional results.

 

June 2021

SQA carries out national check of provisional results and may follow up on any issues with schools and local authorities.

 

Home Learning

Staff have provided on going work for our young people to support them at home since we have moved to a short period of blended learning.  It is the expectation of staff and the Senior Leadership Team that all tasks will be completed and that pupils will be at the same stage when school recommences on Monday 11 January 2021.  If any pupil is struggling to access any of the materials on Teams they should contact the school as a matter of urgency to ensure that they have caught up with any and all tasks by our return.

 

Question and Answer session for parents/carers and young people

I fully appreciate that this year’s SQA awarding process is unique given the extremely challenging times we are continuing to live and work in.  With this in mind and to support parents/carers and young people, Mr Black and I will hold a Q&A session in January.  The details of this will be communicated to you on our return from the Christmas holidays.

 

Certification date

SQA will send final results to all candidates on Tuesday 10th August 2021. Those young people who have signed up for MySQA will receive their results via e mail or text message from 8am that day.

 

Further information

For more details in relation to SQA’s announcements last week, please click on the following links:

 

News about National 5 results in 2020-21 – a message for parents and carers - SQA

 

SQA comments on Deputy First Minister’s decision to cancel Higher and Advanced Higher exams - SQA

 

NPFS statement on the cancellation of 2020/21 Higher and Advanced Higher Exams and the plans for the delivery of the N5 assessments – National Parent Forum of Scotland

 

To stay up to date on National Qualifications in 2021, visit www.sqa.org.uk/NQ2021.

 

Your sincerely,

Fiona McLagan

Head Teacher

 

Arrangements for the new term

 

22nd December 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

Following the First Minister’s announcement on Saturday.  I am writing to confirm our arrangements for the new term.  The school holiday will be extended until Monday 11th January 2021.  At this point we will continue to provide on-line learning. 

All young people know how to access Teams and must complete all work set.  If there are any issues please contact your child’s Guidance Teacher.

All staff will return to school on the 7th January, we will be open at the following times

Monday – Wednesday                        8.45 – 3.40pm

Thursday – Friday                              8.45 – 2.50pm

If you are a key worker and had a place in one of the CSC earlier this year, please complete the form using the link below to confirm your place.

If circumstances have changed and you now have key worker status please complete the form using the link below and we will confirm your place.

All forms should be returned by 9.00am tomorrow 23rd December to enable us to plan for the 7th January 2021.

 

https://bit.ly/34zbAKL

 

Yours faithfully

Fiona McLagan

Head Teacher

DUNDEE NURSERY AND SCHOOL ARRANGMENTS FOLLOWING FESTIVE BREAK

DUNDEE NURSERY AND SCHOOL ARRANGMENTS FOLLOWING FESTIVE BREAK

Following the First Minister’s announcement on Saturday about new coronavirus restrictions, Dundee nurseries and schools are now preparing for changed arrangements for education after New Year.

Nurseries and schools will only be open from what would have been the start of term from Thursday January 7 2021 for children of key workers and vulnerable children.

The details of key workers who used the Community Support Centres system for childcare during lockdown have been retained by nurseries and schools, therefore those places continue to be available from January 7.

Meanwhile, those parents who regard their employment to have changed from the summer to now have key worker status are being urged to contact their head teacher to discuss a place for their children. They are being asked to do this before the end of term at 12 noon on Wednesday (Dec 23).

Vulnerable families will be contacted directly by their nursery or school.

The festive holiday is being extended for all other pupils until Monday January 11 2021.

From then, they will stay at home as remote learning is provided by their nursery or school until at least Monday January 18.

Nurseries and schools will be confirming these arrangements before the end of term on Wednesday.

City council children and families convener Stewart Hunter said: “While these changes must be frustrating for families, I hope that everyone can understand that we must do all we can to guard against the new strain of coronavirus.

“It is vital that we can provide childcare for key workers and those who used  Community Support Centres during the original lockdown and the summer holidays will have a place.I would ask other people to think carefully about this resource and that it is only key workers who request places.”               

Councillor Hunter continued: “This week, nurseries and schools will be explaining directly to children and families exactly what forms of remote learning will be available and how children and young people can continue their learning while they stay at home from January 11.

“Nurseries will also provide activities for young children for that period.

“We will give further information to families about the return to nursery and school when this is available.

“In the meantime, I hope that everyone can enjoy this very different Christmas and stick with the guidance to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.”

Due to the changed arrangements, admissions dates for all young children who were due to start a Local Authority nursery for the first time in January 2021 will now be re-arranged and families will be contacted directly.   

S4-S6 Blended Learning Update

15 December 2020

 

Dear Parent/Carer

Further to my letter of 10 December 2020, I am writing to inform you that it is our intention to extend the period of blended learning for S4-S6 until Wednesday 23 December 2020.  Staff will continue to ensure that appropriate and relevant work is available on Teams.  Young people in S4-6 should not attend school until Thursday 7 January 2021.  We have provided laptops for all those young people who require one. Please be assured that this is not a requirement to self-isolate and all other activity outwith school can take place as normal. 

Young people in S1-S3 who are not self-isolating should attend school as normal.

Can I please take this opportunity to remind everyone to continue to follow Scottish Government and NHS advice on helping reduce the spread of coronavirus: ‘FACTS’:

  • Face coverings in enclosed spaces
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Clean your hands and surfaces regularly
  • Two metre social distancing
  • Self-isolate and book a test if you develop symptoms

 

There are additional things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19

Do:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards.

 

If your child has or develops any symptoms, the whole household should self-isolate. Please arrange for a test for the symptomatic person/people by calling 0800 028 2816 or visiting www.NHSinform.scot/test-and-protect. Children/young people displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend school.

Your messages of support are very much appreciated at this time.  Take care and stay safe.

On behalf of the family of St John’s can I wish you all the peace and joy of this Christmas time. 

God Bless,

Fiona McLagan

Head Teacher

S4-S6 Blended Learning

10 December 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

Due to a high level of staff absence it is necessary to move to a short period of blended learning for our young people in S4-S6.  Staff will ensure that appropriate and relevant work is available on Teams.  Young people in S4-6 should not attend school until Wednesday 16 December 2020.  We have provided laptops for all those young people who require one. Please be assured that this is not a requirement to self-isolate and all other activity outwith school can take place as normal.  We will review the situation on Tuesday 15th December 2020.

 

Young people in S1-S3 who are not self-isolating should attend school as normal.

 

Can I please take this opportunity to remind everyone to continue to follow Scottish Government and NHS advice on helping reduce the spread of coronavirus: ‘FACTS’:

  • Face coverings in enclosed spaces
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Clean your hands and surfaces regularly
  • Two metre social distancing
  • Self-isolate and book a test if you develop symptoms

 

There are additional things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19

Do:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards.

 

If your child has or develops any symptoms, the whole household should self-isolate. Please arrange for a test for the symptomatic person/people by calling 0800 028 2816 or visiting www.NHSinform.scot/test-and-protect. Children/young people displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend school.

Your support is very much appreciated at this time.

Take care and stay safe.

Fiona McLagan

Head Teacher