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Head of Education, Andrew McClelland writes to families following Depute First Minister's announcement on 23 June 2020

Posted on 23 Jun 2020

Statutory Entitlement to Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) funded hours

The legal obligation to increase provision to 1140 hours from August 2020 has been suspended by Scottish Government due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. This means that the statutory entitlement to ELC from August 2020 will remain 600 hours.

A revised date for full implementation of the expansion to 1140 hours will be jointly agreed by Scottish Government and Local Government and is not expected to be announced before December 2020. Recognising the significant impact of Covid-19 and the recovery, it is not expected that the universal entitlement to 1140 hours will be re-instated in the academic year 2020-21, or while the Covid-19 public health measures remain in place.

North Ayrshire Council's Head of Education has written the following letter to families after today's (23 June 2020) announcement from the Depute First Minister that local authorities should plan for pupils to return to school full-time from August - if it is safe to do so: 

You will be aware John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, announced today (Tuesday 23 June) the government’s aspiration is for schools and centres to be able to re-open fully from August, provided that a set of criteria is met, including infection rates and protection measures. This is a new planning assumption. Local authority contingency plans for the delivery of blended learning continue to be necessary. 

Therefore, this week, our schools and centres will continue to issue information about the plans they have been developing over the last few weeks, based on 2m physical distancing and the blended learning model announced on Friday.  

Our hope, like that of the DFM, is that resumption of full-time education can commence for North Ayrshire’s children and young people in August. Of course, the safety of our children and staff remains our highest priority and any change to our contingency plans will be dependent on Scottish Government guidance updated regularly over the summer. 

The First Minister confirmed that the Scottish Government will now review the scientific assumptions underpinning education recovery as part of their statutory 3-weekly process. It is likely that the next update will be at the beginning of July.

Kind regards,

Andrew McClelland

Head of Service (Education)