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Updated 3 April 2020

The coronavirus situation is evolving by the day and SCIS is working to ensure that all the most up to date information is sent to schools. Understanding Coronavirus:  What Schools Need to Know

SQA update on arrangements for quality assurance and the certification of National Courses and Awards – a message to schools a nd colleges

Providing an update in three key areas. Firstly, what evidence-based judgements we need teachers and lecturers to make about their learners’ grades to help inform certification at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher. Secondly, the marking of National 5 coursework. Finally, details on our approach to the certification of National 2, National 3 and National 4 courses, National Certificates, National Progression Awards, Skills for Work courses, Awards, and free-standing units at SCQF levels 5, 6 and 7. Read more...

GTC Scotland publishes guide for online good practice

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) has today published advice on online good practice.

The guide, Engaging Online, contains good practice for online working including on social media and when storing learners’ data. A reflective questions section aims to help teachers consider their professional practice.

Ken Muir, Chief Executive and Registrar said, “As the majority of teachers in Scotland have now moved from teaching in the classroom to teaching online, it is important that we refresh our advice on online working.

“This guide offers useful information on working in an online environment and is intended as a professional learning and discussion tool to enhance teacher professionalism.”

The guide has been endorsed by the Teaching Professional Associations of Scotland.

Access the Guide

Access working from home resources

 

Coronavirus Act 2020

Further to the briefing on the Coronavirus Act, and relevant Scottish legislation, please note that Schedule 16.2 adds a new ‘duty’, rather than advice, that schools must have regard to any advice from the Chief Medical Officer: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2020/7/schedule/16/part/2/enacted

While the Act also contains provisions to allow Government to direct schools to close, or open, it is hoped that any current Government guidance would be sufficient for schools.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): school and ELC closures - guidance for key workers

This guidance sets out what childcare and learning provision we expect to be made available to key workers during closures of school and day care of children, including early learning and childcare (ELC), services to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Closure of school and day care of children services is an important part of our efforts to protect public health – if we all do the right things now, we will reduce the impact of the virus and save lives. We have asked local authorities to keep opening of physical settings to the minimum required. Read more...

SQA statement on coursework for National Courses

Following the announcement by the First Minister on Sunday, that no young person with SQA coursework to complete should attend school to do so, we continue to work hard on how we should take coursework evidence into account, in determining young people’s final grades.

Everyone here at SQA will do their utmost, given the current situation, and with the support of the education system, to ensure that learners’ hard work is rightly and fairly recognised and allows them to proceed to further learning or work. Read more...

Covid-19: GTC Scotland launches teacher wellbeing resources

GTC Scotland has created and curated a variety of resources and advice to support teacher and lecturer health and wellbeing during the Covid-19 crisis.

View our Teacher Tips videos for advice from colleagues; get insights from health and wellbeing professionals in our webinar recordings and articles; and access useful materials from health and wellbeing organisations under Resources. https://gtcsnew.gtcs.org.uk/News/news/health-wellbeing.aspx

Useful Links

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Managing the impacts on Scottish education

Deputy First Minister John Swinney updates Parliament.

Responding to the coronavirus pandemic is a matter of the greatest national importance, and the scale of the challenge in front of us is truly without precedent.

Every aspect of our national life has been affected by this crisis, and sustaining our education system has been at the forefront of my mind.

My priorities are to ensure the health and wellbeing of our children, young people and staff, and to maintain teaching and learning wherever this is possible, guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer and public health experts.

I would like to place on record my sincere appreciation for the extraordinary work that all of the teaching and non-teaching staff in our schools and Early Learning and Childcare settings have been doing to maintain educational continuity in these unprecedented days.  Read more.

Statement by the Chief Executive of the Scottish Qualifications Authority and Scotland’s Chief Examining Officer

This is an unprecedented situation, and the closure of schools for an extended period will affect almost every family across Scotland.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority has recently been working through a range of scenarios in relation to the exam diet, including disruption and postponement. However, as the Deputy First Minister has outlined in Parliament today, the exam diet in 2020 cannot go ahead and I have been asked by the Deputy First Minister to develop an alternative certification model. Read More

School and Nursery Closures

Education Secretary to make statement to Parliament tomorrow.

Schools and nurseries are expected to close to pupils from the end of this week, the First Minister has announced.

The Scottish Government is working closely with local authorities to mitigate the impact on three groups as a priority:

  • Vulnerable pupils and those receiving free school meals
  • Pupils undertaking coursework and preparing for exams
  • Key workers including doctors, nurses and emergency service workers who have children

The Education Secretary will detail to Parliament on Thursday the measures being put in place to address key questions that parents and pupils have.

https://www.gov.scot/news/school-and-nursery-closures/

Scottish Government and SQA joint statement on the Coronavirus, and impact on August 2020 certification

The Qualifications Contingency Group, met yesterday to consider the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on the 2020 examination timetable, and wider qualifications certification.  The Group, chaired by the Scottish Government, and with membership drawn from across the education system, agreed that it was dealing with a very serioud and evolving situation.

The Scottish Government and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) fully appreciates the concerns of learners, parents and carers, schools and colleges. In the event of school closures, the Qualifications Contingency Group agreed that every effort should be made to ensure schools remain partially open to allow Senior Phase pupils to complete learning and be able to submit coursework, in addition to being able to open as examination centres during the diet, should medical and scientific advice allow.  Read More

The UK Government has proposed a default position of social distancing, home working etc.  At present, there is no change in the guidance for schools.

COVID-19 – GUIDANCE FOR NON-HEALTHCARE SETTINGS 

The guidance for Scottish educational settings has now been updated and incorporated into the following general advice for all non-healthcare settings: https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/web-resources-container/covid-19-guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings/. You will see it has some specific material for educational settings in Section 2, as well as other advice that applies more generally

Health Protection Scotland recommend that all educational settings remain open unless they have been advised by the local Health Protection Team to close. Children appear to be less affected than other age groups however handwashing should be encouraged before and after any activity, such as meal times, break times and sporting activities. Your local public health team will provide advice if you have had a symptomatic case of COVID-19 on site. At present school closure is not usually required but the local health protection team will support you to make a risk assessment.

Health Protection Scotland will update this guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.

GUIDANCE FOR RESIDENTIAL SETTINGS

COVID-19 - information and guidance for social or community care & residential settings

UPDATE ON SELF-ISOLATION

Update on self-isolation for those with symptoms consistent with COVID-19

Guidance from around the world

ISC - https://www.isc.co.uk/sector-info/coronavirus-information-for-schools/

USA - https://www.nais.org/articles/pages/additional-covid-19-guidance-for-schools/

Australia - https://bit.ly/33mr96E

New Zealand - https://www.isnz.org.nz/news/coronavirus-what-schools-need-to-know/

Southern Africa - https://www.isasa.org/coronavirus-and-school-closures/