Scotland: Update on Education & Exams CoronavirusWatch
If you'd like to tune in, it's on the Scottish Parliament TV: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/
For advice, guidance and up-to-date information on Coronavirus/COVID-19, please check out the NHS, UK Government, and Mind (mental health) web-pages.
As confirmed yesterday, schools & nurseries will be closed from tomorrow. Teaching & learning should still continue in other forms.
Local authorities will put procedures in place for vulnerable children.
[He'll outline both in rest of talk]
Measures will be put in place to ensure children of key workers have somewhere to go. Local authorities *may* keep some school buildings open (in a different way from usual) or use community hubs to provide care for children of key workers.
Working with local authorities to ensure that children & young people still get free school meals - different local authorities using different methods, including issuing food vouchers, and having community hubs open for children/young people to get lunch.
Coursework & assessment by teachers on expected performance, combined with prior assessment (particularly relevant to higher candidates) will all be used in assessment. Chief Examination Officer will set out further details of what exactly will happen in due course, but this information isn't available yet.
Course awards still expected by 4th August for everyone needing results for further/higher education
In response to Q from Iain Gray MSP about variation from school to school/teacher to teacher in terms of resources students are being provided with to be able to continue their studies, and the role of Education Scotland in ensuring consistency...
A: Today, only 16 schools are closed. Letter has been issued from John Swinney to local authorities giving them direction on what to do.
And...what is a key worker?
A: Balance to be struck- different challenges/needs in different local areas, so flexibility is being given to local authorities (at their request) to define this.
A: Health advice should be followed first at all times.
Q from Willie Rennie MSP, who has a 15 year old son preparing for Nat 5s...will key workers be decided on a self declaration basis?
A: The provision of care of children & young people of key workers will be limited...Otherwise, we defeat the purpose of closing schools & nurseries.
A: Approach taken has been to give maximum flexibility to local authorities. I agree with the points raised, local authorities are exploring this & encourage them to consider these suggestions.
A: Schools will provide details of home learning. Schools should provide paper materials where young people can't access digital materials
A: We've got extensive connectivity - not universal, but extensive. The resources from schools can be enhanced by external sources. Teachers who are still well should still be working, and we've already been seeing resources being created.
A: Highlights significance of this point & we're going to need to think carefully. We can't have young people miss out on celebrating leaving primary & transitioning to secondary. Hasn't thought that far ahead yet, but aware it needs addressing & acknowledges importance.
2nd Q from Monica Lennon: How will we ensure young people can still access free period products that are currently available through schools?
A: As above, acknowledges importance but no definitive answer yet...Confirms measures need to be put in place to ensure continued access.