21st December in School
Dear Parent / Carer
Following the First Ministers announcement last night and from my early morning discussions
with Local Authority staff, I thought you would appreciate a wee update. Please be aware we
still await more detailed guidance from the Scottish Government for schools and our Director
of Education will add further guidance tomorrow.
In brief, this is the First Minister’s statement about schools:
Schools still open next week and will close on schedule as previously planned – we are not
They were then due to reopen from the 5th of January with all councils areas back by the 7th.
Instead of that, here is what we are now going to do -
For the children of key workers – such as nurses in our hospitals – schools will open as
previously scheduled. They will also open as normal for the most vulnerable children.
All teachers will also return to work as scheduled and as planned.
For the majority of pupils, however, the holiday period is being extended until 11th January.
Starting on that date, learning will be online until at least 18th January.
After that, assuming we are confident we have the virus under control we will aim to reopen
schools fully but at least until the 18th January, schools will go online only other than for the
children of key workers and the most vulnerable.
I will continue my discussions with Local Authority staff and with all the managers in the school.
We are due to meet tomorrow afternoon after the Government detailed guidance has been
issued. Thereafter I’ll write to you again.
Please remember, as noted in my earlier letters to you, that we have already planned for this
eventuality and our previous practice during the last lockdown and our current practice of
using Google Classroom and Google Meet will be adopted for teaching our pupils. We
successfully use these measures every day for many children absent; now we will use them
for everyone else for a short time.
We are already aware of who our vulnerable children are and already have a support
mechanism in place for them using our excellent pastoral care teams.
Details about how we will provide a service for key workers children will be shared following
discussions with the Local Authority tomorrow.
Should you have any immediate concerns or questions, feel free to use the schools “Contact
Us” page on the website.
P A Bain
Executive Head Teacher
Oban High School, Tiree High School & Tiree Primary School