Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on schools reopening

Published: 16 Feb 2021

Guidance on arrangements for the phased reopening of schools in February/March 2021.

25 page PDF

347.0 kB

25 page PDF

347.0 kB

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on schools reopening
Employees and employers

25 page PDF

347.0 kB

Employees and employers

Employees

The following advice is for employees who are considering requesting a space in school for their child during this exceptional period on the basis that they are key workers.

During this period of strict lockdown, employees should first talk to their employer if they are an employee and they believe:

  • they are a key worker undertaking critical work as outlined in this guidance
  • it is absolutely necessary for them to attend their place of work to fulfil their critical functions; and
  • they have no access to appropriate alternative childcare/remote learning arrangements. Alternative childcare arrangements may include informal childcare or accessing a childminding service (which remain open to all children at present). See Your guide to childcare | Parent Club for further information.

Together with your employer, you can then make appropriate decisions about whether and how to apply for a place, drawing on local authority guidance.

Employees may also seek advice and support from their trade unions in these matters.

Employers

The following advice is for employers who believe their employees may be key workers and are considering supporting them to request a space in school for their child during this exceptional period on that basis.

During this period of strict lockdown, employers should:

  • only contact the relevant local authority to make the case for key worker designation for employees if it is a measure of last resort
  • please contact their local authority for information about the arrangements they have in place
  • think critically about what staff they consider to be key workers, to ruthlessly prioritise those providing absolutely essential services to the public in these emergency times
  • revisit work with unions and workers to identify only the absolute minimum number of staff performing essential roles to deliver the COVID-19 response and provide basic, safe services
  • reduce in-person staffing levels to the lowest possible number required to maintain the production of essential goods.
  • have discussions with staff to identify if they can access any appropriate alternative childcare or remote learning arrangements. This may include another parent/carer who is not a key worker and is able to provide such support effectively from home. Alternative childcare arrangements may also include informal childcare or accessing a childminding service (which remain open to all children at present).

You can then support your employee to make appropriate decisions about whether and how to apply for a place, drawing on local authority guidance.

Please contact your local authority for information about the arrangements they have in place. Further information: contact details for your local authority.

Complex queries and issues regarding key worker access to in-person learning

The main port of call to resolve any issues or challenges over key worker status or access to in-person learning in school should always be the local authority or school concerned.

To provide advice on issues relating to this guidance and to raise complex queries related to key worker status which cannot be addressed locally, the Scottish Government has re-established the Key Worker Hub. This option is intended as a last resort, and contact with the Hub should only be made following the exhaustion of all discussions with the relevant local authority. Enquiries should be sent to keyworkers@gov.scot.