Senior phase - practical tasks
Senior phase learners will return part-time from 22 February, albeit on a limited basis, for the purpose of completing the learning and teaching of critical practical work in relation to qualifications in 2021 (for example NQs, NPAs, SfWs, FAs and others) that can only be carried out in school.
Schools must ensure that the number of senior phase learners timetabled in school to undertake practical work at any one time does not exceed 5-8% of the secondary school roll. This number is a cap, and not an indication of the number of learners that schools are expected to have in the building at all times. This number does not include the provision for keyworker and vulnerable children. Schools should consider the arrangements they have in place to keep these two groups separate wherever possible.
If those young people who attend school go offsite for lunch, they should follow the rules in place for wider society, for example wearing a face covering when entering a shop. Risk assessments should consider procedures for when children and young people leave and return to school premises, including hand hygiene. Schools may wish to contact local shops in advance to alert them to plans.
Remote learning should be the main delivery model in use, schools should only consider in-school learning where it is absolutely necessary.
Education Scotland and the Scottish Government have worked with partners to produce detailed technical guidance intended to provide clarity and support for local authorities and secondary schools on providing arrangements for these small groups of senior phase learners carrying out practical work in-school.
School transport for the senior phase
Arrangements should be made between schools, local authority transport teams and transport operators to ensure that appropriate school transport provision is in place to support senior phase learners' return to school for the purpose of the critical practical work described above. Such arrangements will need to take account of the fact that learners may attend for only part of the school day or for designated sessions and ensure that learners' time in school is minimised. Consideration should be taken of issues, such as, timetabling of lesson/sessions to align with transport services and the need to enable learners to access school meals, particularly those eligible for free school meals. It may also be necessary to make learners that are eligible for free school transport aware they may travel on registered (public) bus services if that is a more convenient option for their journey home after their session has finished.