West Lothian schools are ready for the second stage in the phased return of pupils.

From Monday 15 March, all children in P 4 - 7 will return to school on a full-time basis. All primary school children will also be able to return to regulated childcare, including after school and breakfast clubs.

It is also the intention that all secondary school pupils will return to spend some time in school from 15 March until the Easter break. From 15 March, in secondary schools there will be a combination of in-school learning and remote learning for all S1 - S6 pupils.

All secondary pupils are expected to return to full-time schooling after Easter, subject to continued suppression of the virus and the requirement for 2 metre physical distancing between young people being removed. Individual schools will put specific arrangements in place and communicate directly with parents and young people.

West Lothian Council, via schools, has issued information to all parents/carers earlier today.

In line with national guidance here are some key points to note:

  • Senior phase learners who are taking national qualifications, must have priority for face to face learning and teaching in school
  • In the run up to Easter, remote learning will remain in place, although it is recognised that the nature of it may change given that schools are prioritising face-to-face learning
  • Face coverings should now be worn at all times by staff and young people in secondary schools; including S1-S3 learners (not just the senior phase) in classrooms, in communal areas and when moving about the school
  • The requirement for 2 metre distancing in secondary schools may be relaxed when young people are outdoors for the purpose of outdoor activities and learning
  • Subject to continued suppression of the virus, some senior phase school learners studying SCQF level 6 Foundation Apprenticeships may commence a limited return to college campuses for essential practical coursework
  • Special schools (ASN) and enhanced support provision will continue to communicate with parents on an individual basis.
  • School transport will return as normal, but the 2 metre distancing rule for secondary pupils on school busses will be relaxed, and replaced with other mitigations, for example each pupil sitting on their own wherever possible
  • School meals, including free school meals, will be available for pupils attending school. Arrangements for direct payment to parents/carers of pupils eligible for and claiming free school meals will continue until the end of the Easter holidays

The offer of twice-weekly at-home lateral flow testing will be extended to all secondary pupils after the Easter break. Subject to sufficient supplies being available, schools will offer S1-3 pupils testing kits before Easter.

James Cameron, West Lothian Council's Head of Education, said:

"Once we get over the initial return it is extremely important that our school communities are allowed to move on with their learning and their own development. The council and schools have worked extremely hard to ensure that parents receive timely and accurate information throughout this pandemic and we will continue to ensure this continues.

"Rest assured, we have done everything we can to ensure schools are safe and welcoming environments for all children and we look forward to welcoming all our young people back to school in the near future."

Important for parents/carers of vulnerable pupils and children of key workers

The normal Attendance Policy and procedures still apply. If you have been allocated a place to attend school/nursery you must inform the school if your child will not attend, as you would normally. (for example, if you have an alternative arrangement, they are ill or have a medical appointment).

If your child does not attend on the days allocated to them a GroupCall message will be sent to you recording the non-attendance.

FAQs regarding Return to School