Routine protective measures in schools, early learning and childcare (ELC) settings and daycare of children's services: impact assessments

Impact assessments of revised schools guidance and guidance for the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) sector which seek to ensure routine protective measures are a proportionate and appropriate response to competing harms.

6. Island Communities Impact Assessment (ICIA)

6.1 Island communities

The nature of the provision of education, ELC and childcare in island communities (and other remote and rural communities) varies from provision in more populous areas. Settings are typically smaller and face higher operating costs due to smaller numbers of children. For ELC, childminding, third sector and local authority-run provision tend to be more prevalent than private settings.

In an island context with a small population and where schools and ELC settings typically rely on a smaller workforce, the extent to which local authorities are able to work flexibly to respond to individual circumstances, are particularly important.

The revisions of the schools and ELC sector guidance place a strong emphasis on engagement with local health protection teams in the local COVID response and management. Informal engagement on specific policy areas includes with the membership of COVID-19 Education Recovery Group (CERG) and engagement with COVID-19 Advisory Sub-group specialising in education and children's issues. These groups have provided data relevant to the school population, drawn on international comparisons and made recommendations to support education experts in their planning.

An adapted local approach to outbreak response and management will have a positive impact for island communities.

6.2 Gaelic medium education

Gaelic medium education (GME) is a distinct sector within Scottish education and aspires to provide a 3-18 education. The nature of GME is clearly described in the Statutory Guidance on Gaelic Education.

In 2019 there were 4,631 learners in the GME sector the majority of whom do not speak Gaelic at home. Therefore we can assume that stable in-school learning will have had a positive impact on the language development of these pupils, particularly younger pupils who may not yet be confident engaging with the written language independently.

Throughout the pandemic the number of online resources available to support learners has grown. National parent's advice and support is offered by Comann nam Pàrant. Also, Storlànn has extended its site to support parents as well as learners and teachers. Professional support is also available from Bòrd na Gàidhlig via

There are not considered to be any areas of this policy that could have a disproportionate impact on this group.



Back to top