Covid-19 – school and nursery closures

Covid-19 – school and nursery closures
20 March 2020

The Council has responded to the announcement from the Scottish Government that schools and local authority nurseries will close from Friday afternoon (20 March).

James Wylie, Orkney Islands Council’s Executive Director of Education, Leisure and Housing, said:

“We received guidance on Thursday afternoon from the Deputy First Minister on the Scottish Government’s decision to close schools and nurseries in response to the escalating Covid-19 outbreak.

“In Orkney, all schools, local authority early learning and childcare settings and the Papdale Halls of Residence will close to children and young people from 5pm on Friday 20 March.”

Work is underway to put to put provision in place for:

  • The children of key workers – allowing parents and carers to play their part in the national response to Covid-19.
  • S4 – S6 pupils, to ensure they can complete course work for national qualifications.
  • Vulnerable children.

Mr Wylie said: “The Scottish Government has asked us to do this by the end of next week. We will provide an update on progress as soon as we can.

“We are putting measures in place to support vulnerable children, including continued provision of free school meals.

“We are working with partner organisations to determine the key workers who will require childcare provision for children and young people under the age of 16.”

A key worker self-nomination form is available here.

He added: "The form provides detailed information about key worker categories. We would encourage parents who are key workers to complete this as a matter of urgency so we can establish provision as soon as possible.

“We realise school and nursery closures will cause enormous disruption for local families, carers, public services and businesses. The Deputy First Minister has described the steps he has asked us to take as exceptional and a measure of the extraordinary challenges we all face.”

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS