Stirling Council’s Education, Children and Families' teams are preparing to deliver their services in a flexible new way following the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
Our focus in the coming weeks will be on the provision of:
- Free school meals
- Temporary childcare for essential workers
- Flexible learning and education
- Advice lines and other help and support resources for families
- Child protection advice during the current situation
- Supporting vulnerable children and young people
From Monday, 23 March, packed lunches have been delivered to homes for all children from P1 to S6 who are entitled to free school meals.
Please note: lunches will not be provided for all children in P1 to P3 as is the current position; it is only for those in receipt of the footwear and clothing grant.
The packed lunches will be delivered to home addresses of all eligible children from Monday to Friday between 10am and 2pm.
Since 25 March, we have moved to making double and triple deliveries of packed lunches. This allows drivers and catering staff involved in this challenging operation to participate in other essential work during this national emergency.
Until further notice, the latest schedule for deliveries is:
- Every Tuesday, triple delivery
- Every Friday, double delivery.
Please note if there is no one home when the delivery arrives, we are unable to leave the lunches.
If you need to report a problem with free school meals please complete the form below. If you have already reported an issue that has not been dealt with yet, please complete the form and add the details into the comments section.
Please note: The delivery of free school meals will also continue during the Easter/Spring holidays.
Free School Meal Delivery Enquiry Form
If you have not yet registered to receive this entitlement or if your circumstances have changed due to COVID-19 and your income has reduced, there are two ways you can enquire if you are entitled to the free lunch:
1 - Speak to your child/children’s headteacher. If there is an entitlement to free lunches, they will complete a Flexible School Meal online application form on your behalf. This form will allow your children to receive their packed lunch until end of June.
2 - If you would like to discuss your child’s entitlement further, or have any questions relating to entitlement, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, address and your child’s name and date of birth.
Temporary Childcare for Essential Workers
Stirling Council is continuing to deliver alternative care arrangements for essential workers during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Staff worked over the weekend (21-22 March) to establish five childcare hubs - Callander, Cowie, Dunblane, Killearn and St Ninians - for children with parents working in essential roles.
From 23 March, they started operating, providing care for more than 300 children.
We would like to thank all staff involved for their dedication and professionalism in putting these arrangements in place in such a short timescale.
On Monday (6 April), these hubs were joined by a new hub at the nursery within Raploch Community Campus, which is supporting families with children under the age of three.
Parents and carers who are categorised as essential workers and require childcare for this age-group can make a request via our website.
If you are an essential worker that has applied for childcare and have not been contacted, please phone the hub in the location you applied for:
- Callander – McLaren High School (01786 237973)
- Cowie – St Margaret’s Primary School (01786 237954)
- Killearn – Killearn Primary School (01360 550025)
- St Ninians – St Ninians Primary School (01786 237975)
- Dunblane – Dunblane Primary School (01786 822351)
- Raploch - Raploch Community Campus (01786 272337)
For any other temporary childcare enquiries for essential workers please contact us via: https://www.stirling.gov.uk/contact-us/general-enquiries/
Flexible Learning and Education
Schools are finding creative ways to support young people in their learning during this emergency situation. Where possible and where appropriate some schools are being supported to engage in online learning.
Our Glow platform has groups and resources for all age levels which children and young people can access with their Glow login. Each group has links to useful websites which can be accessed at home. The team is developing a site to share these links with parents.
The Council’s Youth Participation team is also organising a variety of fun activities and competitions on its social media channels:
- Twitter - https://twitter.com/stir_spyp
- Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/StirlingYouthParticipationTeam/
- Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/stirlingyouth/?hl=en
On 20 April, the SQA published an updated statement for young people, parents and carers on this year’s national qualifications.
This new update is available to view via the SQA website. Within the statement, further information can be found by clicking on the link for frequently asked questions.
Stirling Council’s priority continues to be that our young people’s hard work and dedication is fairly recognised, and we will work with our schools and the SQA to ensure that this is the case.
On 2 April, the SQA published guidance for learners, parents and carers for this year’s qualifications:
On 26 March, the SQA and Colleges Scotland issued a joint update on Higher National Certificates (HNCs).
You can read the full statement here: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/93717.html
On 24 March, the SQA issued an update on national qualifications (NQs). This year schools and colleges will not be required to submit coursework for marking in Higher and Advanced Higher courses. All National 5 coursework, due to be uplifted in April and May, will not be submitted for marking.
Read the statement from the SQA here: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/93658.html
Following a statement issued on 22 March by the Scottish Government S4 to S6 pupils should not attend school to complete SQA coursework. Where coursework can be completed safely at home schools will support young people to do so.
All parents, families and children will be contacted by their school or nursery to confirm more details for the weeks ahead. Please look out for communication from your own school or nursery for further information.
Advice Lines, Help and Support
Wellbeing Service for Young People aged 12 years and over
Feeling worried, frustrated or anxious about COVID-19? Feeling isolated or concerned about relationships? Looking to speak to someone about exams and education?
The Wellbeing Service is there for you to talk to someone confidentially about any of these things over the phone.
You can call the freephone number on 0800 015 3320 (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1.30pm to 4pm) or you can get further information here on the Wellbeing Service.
Advice Line for those seeking advice about a child or young person’s support needs
Stirling Council has set up a dedicated telephone advice line and email enquiry service for those seeking advice about children and young people’s support needs, learning and wellbeing during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
You can contact the advice line by either:
- Telephone - 01786 404040, Option 5 (Monday to Friday from 10am to 12.30pm and from 1.30pm to 4pm)
- Email Us
- Contact Form – which can be completed below – please ensure you leave your preferred contact details - i.e. telephone number or email address.
We will endeavour to respond to your query within one hour.
We also have online information that can be accessed at Stirling Educational Psychology Blog.
This provides information, advice and practical guidance for parents/carers and for children and young people on a range of subjects. These include: looking after our wellbeing, talking to your child about the Coronavirus, activities for learning at home and useful links to websites that can provide additional information.
It is now more important than ever that everyone across Stirling keeps their eyes and ears open for children at risk of neglect and abuse during the COVID-19 outbreak.
All communities can do their bit to protect children from harm. If you are worried at all about a child’s welfare, it is much better to say something than do nothing.
If you are worried about a child, you can contact us to report concerns.
During the day you can contact Stirling Council Social Work with concerns on 01786 471177.
Out of Hours (after 5pm and weekends) you can contact the team on 01786 470500.
If it is an emergency, contact the Police: 999 emergency number or 101.
With schools being closed, children will be spending more time online and websites such as www.net-aware.org.uk or www.thinkuknow.co.uk help people report abuse and offer information on how to minimise potential risks from others online.
Supporting vulnerable children and young people
Stirling Council has been progressing plans to continue supporting vulnerable children and young people following school closures on 20 March. Guidance for Children’s Service staff has been developed with a focus on the following groups of children:
- Those on the child protection register, those who are looked after (including kinship care) and, those on the edge of care.
- Children in receipt of Free School Meals.
- Children and young people who have complex additional support needs.
- Children and young people affected by poverty and deprivation.
A wide range of supports are currently being provided, including:
- School staff and social work colleagues making regular daily or weekly contact by telephone, email or social media, with vulnerable families, with some dropping off meals or learning packs.
- Delivery of free school meals is ongoing with a plan for support workers to deliver these to families.
- School staff are providing access to a variety of educational materials including learning packs and online learning
- Support services such as the Stirling Inclusion Support Service, ASN Outreach, Educational Psychology Service, the Parent and Family Support Team are making regular contact with parent/carers, children and young people, who have additional support needs and where concerns are present, regarding increased vulnerability.
- An online resource is available here for parent/carers and for children/young people providing advice, support and information covering topics such as health and wellbeing and learning activities at home.
- An advice line has been set up for those working with children and young people who have concerns about a child or young person’s wellbeing. You can access further information here
- A Wellbeing Service for young people aged 12 years and above has also been launched. It offers support for young people who might be feeling anxious or worried about the current situation, who might be feeling more isolated from their peers or who might have concerns about exams and their future. Further information can be found here
We are also continuing with existing good practice such as hosting a virtual Team Around the Child (TAC) meeting when concerns exist about a child or young person’s care or wellbeing. The parent/carer will be invited to join a virtual TAC discussion or will have provided consent for professionals to host TAC discussion.
Further bespoke supports can also be explored by the TAC to ensure that each approach is individualised to support a child or young person’s profile of needs.
If you require any further information, please contact us via: https://www.stirling.gov.uk/contact-us/general-enquiries/
Free sanitary products for young people
Stirling Council is trialing a new free online ordering service to ensure young people are ‘period protected’ during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With school collection points temporarily closed due to the current crisis, the local authority has teamed up Scottish social enterprise, Hey Girls, so pupils and young people can continue to access free sanitary products.
You can use the service if you are aged up to 25, and live, go to school or work/volunteer in the Stirling Council area. A Stirling post code must be provided for delivery.
Young people in Stirling can order the products via the Young Scot website, with a range of products available across four care packs.
Funded by the Scottish Government, the trial is open now and will last until 25 May before being reviewed on an ongoing basis.
At the end of the initial trial period, the survey monkey online form will close and orders will be confirmed, packed and delivered to homes.
Please note that products may take up to six weeks to arrive once ordered. We will work to keep this time as short as possible but we also want you to plan ahead. If you don’t receive your order after six weeks please email: SPandYP@stirling.gov.uk
For more details and to make an order, visit: https://www.young.scot/get-informed/stirling/period-protected-during-covid-19
Applying for Childcare
For information on applying for childcare in Stirling Council nurseries and funded providers in the private, voluntary and independent sector, including childminders, please follow this link: https://www.stirling.gov.uk/learning-education/early-learning-childcare/applying-for-childcare/
Last updated: Thursday, April 16, 2020 10:59 AM