Coronavirus information (updated)

Guidance for schools, colleges, nurseries and other education and early years settings on the coronavirus, COVID-19, and information for members.

Updates 26 February 2021:

UK: Voice Community: Vaccination decision deeply disappointing

Northern Ireland: 

Children and Young People’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework launchedAn investment of £6.5million annually will be provided 

Weir announces dates for CCEA 2021 examination results

Circular 2021/03 - Curriculum Planning - March 2021 - Return for Years 1 to 3 to face-to-face learning  

COVID-19 Home Test Kits - National Testing Initiative - Replenishment of Kits  Guidance literature

Updates 25 February 2021:

Voice Community: Updated COVID-19 FAQs

England:

Blog: Assessment arrangements

DfE: Education Secretary statement to MPs on education recovery and qualifications 

DfE: Teacher assessed grades for students: Students will receive grades awarded and determined by teachers, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught, the Education Secretary has announced

Ofqual:

How qualifications will be awarded in 2021:  An article from Chief Regulator, Simon Lebus, explaining the arrangements for 2021.

Simon Lebus responds to the Secretary of State’s direction of 23 February 2021: 

Scotland:

SNCT Teachers' Panel letter: COVID-19 Absence of effective mitigations in schools, February 2021 (pdf)
Letter from members of the Teachers’ Panel (which includes Voice Community Scotland) highlighting our concerns and discontent regarding the failures in implementation of mitigation measures that should already be in place in schools.

Latest SNCT circulars: 

Remote Schools Allowance SNCT-21-77 (pdf)

Distant Isles Allowance SNCT-21-78 (pdf)

Updates 24 February 2021: 

Deborah Lawson: Recovery won't be easy – but we must succeed 

England:

Voice Community's Statement on education recovery package

DfE:  New education recovery package for children and young peopleNew £700 million plan laid out to help young people in England catch up on lost learning due to the pandemic

An open letter from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to parents, carers and guardians 

Latest DfE updated guidance and information 

Wales: WJEC exam materials 

Updates 23 February 2021: 

Scotland: 

Scottish Government:  Gradually easing lockdown restrictions: Updated Strategic Framework published
The immediate priority will continue to be the phased return of education, building on the return of some pupils to school yesterday....

Updates 22 February 2021:

England: ‘A reckless throwing of caution to the wind’: Voice Community's statement on school return plans in England (Updated)

Information for Voice members:

Click here for government guidance for each UK country.

Follow Voice on Facebook and Twitter (@Voicetheunion, @VoiceCymru, @VoiceScotland) for news, shared content and resources.

Voice resources:

COVID-19 - Staying safe at work: This booklet is to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. (17 June 2020)

FAQs

Learning and Activity Resources (last updated 17 April 2020)  

Useful contacts/websites/help for self-employed

Voice Rewards

Voice statements and comments:

February 2021:

England: Voice Community: A phased return to classroom learning: letter to the Education Secretary

Scotland: Community General Secretary's Letter to Minister for Children and Young People Maree Todd MSP

Letter to Children's Minister Vicky Ford MP (England)

January 2021:

Update 29 January 2021:  England: Joint letter from Voice Community and others: Lack of support for agency workers

England: Blog: Vaccination must include support staff and early years staff as well as teachers

Northern Ireland:

England:  Interview: Who should get priority for the vaccine? 

Read more here.

Letters call for priority access to vaccine 

Education and early years staff must be tested and vaccinated now, says Voice Community after survey

Archive of Voice statements and comments and resources on COVID-19

Government Coronavirus/COVID-19 guidance:

Scroll down for each UK country, or click here: England, ScotlandWales, Northern Ireland, UK Government/Treasury

Archive of informattion from JCQ, SAGE,  UK Chief Medical Officers, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Department of Health and Social Care

England

Ofqual, Ofsted etc  DfE

Department for Education (DfE)

Helpline: Phone: 0800 046 8687  (Opening hours: 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday,  10am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday)
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

Teaching Blog: "For teachers by teachers"

Every Mind Matters: Looking after a child or young person's mental health 

Education Secretary speaks at launch of digital learning review 
Speaking at the launch of the Office for Students' review of digital teaching in higher education, Gavin Williamson discussed the future of online learning.

Education Secretary statement to MPs on education recovery and qualifications  
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson delivers Oral Statement to MPs on plans to help children catch up and on how qualifications in England will be awarded this summer.

FAQs: What you need to know about grades in 2021

Teacher assessed grades for students
Students will receive grades awarded and determined by teachers, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught, the Education Secretary announced today (Thursday, 25 February).

Direction issued to Ofqual 
Direction from the Secretary of State for Education to Ofqual's Chief Regulator about how GCSE, AS, A level and vocational and technical qualifications should be awarded in 2021.

New education recovery package for children and young people Updated: 
New £700 million plan laid out to help young people in England catch up on lost learning due to the pandemic

An open letter from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to parents, carers and guardians 

Higher education providers: coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated: 
Information on the return of students and NHS Test and Trace channels.

Pupils' progress in the 2020 to 2021 academic year: interim report Updated: 
A research report presenting interim findings from analysis into the progress pupils have made during the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges Updated: 
Information for parents and carers about attending schools, nurseries and colleges in the spring term 2021.

Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated: 

Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated: 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): assessment processes for selective school admissions Updated: 
Guidance on entry testing for admission to state-funded selective schools during the coronavirus outbreak.

Disapplication notice: school inspections legislation changes Updated: 
Secretary of State for Education issues an eleventh notice about changes to state-funded school inspection requirements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Modification notice: school registration legislation changes Updated: 
Secretary of State for Education issues an eleventh notice to modify pupil registration requirements for temporary pupils during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated: 

Guidance for schools: coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated: 
What school leaders, teachers and school staff need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Further and higher education: coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated: 
What colleges and universities and other providers need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Local authority children’s services: coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated: 
What local authority children’s services need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Evidence summary: COVID-19 - children, young people and education settings Updated: 
DfE paper summarising evidence in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, particularly around children, young people and education settings.

Special schools and other specialist settings: coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated: 
What all special schools and other specialist settings will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.


PM statement to the House of Commons on roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England: 22 February 2021

Mass testing for secondary pupils as all schools and colleges fully reopen from 8 March Schools and colleges to reopen to all pupils from 8 March with asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in place Updated: 

All students to return to school and college from 8 March and what you need to know

Summary of education announcements

The roadmap announced today makes the following announcements in relation to education:

Schools and colleges

  • Schools and colleges will reopen to all pupils from 8 March.
  • All primary school children will return on Monday 8 March, as staff continue to take two rapid COVID-19 tests each week at home.
  • All secondary school and college students will take COVID-19 tests as they return the classroom from the 8 March. Secondary schools and colleges will have discretion on how to stagger the return of their students over that week to allow them to be tested on return. After an initial programme of three tests in school or college, students will be provided with two rapid tests to use each week at home.
  • Secondary school and college staff will also be provided with two tests to use each week at home.
  • Protective measures across education will be strengthened. Staff and students in secondary schools and colleges are advised to wear face coverings in all areas, including classrooms, where social distancing cannot be maintained as a temporary extra measure.

Higher education

  • University students on practical courses who need to access specialist facilities and equipment can return to in-person teaching and learning from Monday 8 March. Twice weekly testing will continue to be available for all on campus.
  • For the remaining university students, the government will review, by the end of the Easter holidays, the options for timing of their return. This will take account of the latest data and will then be a key part of the wider roadmap steps. Students and institutions will be given a week’s notice ahead of any return.

Early years and childcare

  • All staff at private, voluntary and independent nurseries will have access to tests to use twice weekly at home from 22 March, building on the testing already available to maintained nursery schools and school-based nurseries. Childminders can continue to access community testing.
  • Wraparound childcare for primary and secondary pupils will resume from 8 March where necessary to enable parents to access work, education or medical care.

Protective measures for holiday and after-school clubs, and other out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Financial support for education, early years and chidren's social care

Letter of thanks to early years from the Secretary of State, Gavin Williamson (pdf)

Higher education providers: coronavirus (COVID-19) Information on the return of students and NHS Test and Trace channels. Updated: 

Higher education: operational guidance For guidance on the plans for the return of students for the spring term,…

Coronavirus (COVID-19) contingency framework for education and childcare settings How settings can prepare for restrictions to help contain community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated: 

Actions for FE colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak Find out what you'll need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to maintain provision. Updated: 

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak What childcare services early years settings, childminders and local authorities need to provide during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Updated: 

Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak What all schools will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Updated: 

Get laptops and tablets for pupils and students who cannot access face-to-face education due to coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated: 
How schools, 16 to 19 academies, colleges, and other further education institutions, can access digital devices for pupils and students learning remotely.

Get help with laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers received from DfE during coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated: 
Guidance for local authorities, trusts, schools, colleges and other further education institutions on managing DfE devices provided for children and young adults most in need.

Guidance for parents and carers on safeguarding children in out-of-school settings  Updated: 

Questions for parents and carers to ask to help them choose out-of-school settings for their children.

Over 3 million rapid coronavirus tests in schools and colleges Updated: 

Significant milestone sees primary and secondary schools and colleges conduct over 3 million tests with staff and students since January

Higher education providers: coronavirus (COVID-19): Information on the return of students and NHS Test and Trace channels.  Updated: 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): initial teacher training (ITT) Information for providers about managing initial teacher training courses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Updated: 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): initial teacher training (ITT) The guidance is for initial teacher training (ITT) providers.  Updated: 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): keeping children safe online Advice and guidance to help parents and carers to keep children safe online during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Updated: 

Responsibility for exams  Updated: 
Guidance for schools and colleges on who should enter students for exams, the health arrangements for exams and the support DfE is providing.

Higher education providers: coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated: 
Information on the return of students and NHS Test and Trace channels.

Disapplication notice: school attendance legislation changes Updated: 
Secretary of State for Education issues seventh notice to disapply offences for non-attendance in schools during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Measures announced to boost international study and global opportunities  Updated: 
Government announces new measures to help the education sector build back better from the pandemic.

International Education Strategy: 2021 update Updated: 
Update to the 2019 International Education Strategy highlighting progress, government support to the UK education sector and future priorities.

Emergency planning and response Updated: 
How schools and other educational settings should plan for and deal with emergencies, including severe weather and floods.

Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak Updated: 

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated: 

Get laptops and tablets for pupils and students who cannot access face-to-face education due to coronavirus (COVID-19)  Updated: 
How schools, 16 to 19 academies, colleges, and other further education institutions, can access digital devices for pupils and students learning remotely.

Get help with laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers received from DfE during coronavirus (COVID-19)  Updated: 
Guidance for local authorities, trusts, schools, colleges and other further education institutions on managing DfE devices provided for children and young adults most in need.

Get help with technology during coronavirus (COVID-19) Updated: 
Guidance on the devices and support available to provide remote education and access to children’s social care.

Providing school meals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated: 
Guidance for schools and local authorities on school meals arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Schools financial value standard (SFVS) 4 February 2021

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Department for Education (DfE) has decided that the SFVS return should be delayed this year. This is to take account of the current pressures schools and local authorities are facing. For the financial year 2020 to 2021, schools should submit their SFVS to their local authority no later than 28 May 2021. Local authorities should submit their assurance statement to the DfE within six weeks, no later than 9 July 2021. 

New Commissioner appointed to oversee education catch-up 
Prime Minister and the Education Secretary appoint Sir Kevan Collins as Education Recovery Commissioner.

Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings Updated: 

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges Updated: 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial support for education, early years and children’s social care Updated: 
 (including updated guidance on financial support for supply staff)

Supplier relief for schools: How schools and academy trusts should support suppliers through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Updated: 

Guidance for schools: coronavirus (COVID-19) What school leaders, teachers and school staff need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Updated: 

Vulnerable children and young people survey Summary of local authority survey in England to help understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on children’s social care. Updated: 

Higher education providers: coronavirus (COVID-19): Information on the return of students from January 2021 and NHS Test and Trace channels.  Updated: 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) asymptomatic testing in schools and colleges  Updated: 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing in schools and colleges: grant funding Updated: 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for children's social care services Updated: 

Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated: 

Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Updated: 

Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreakWhat all schools will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak from the start of the autumn term. Updated: 

Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak Find out how apprenticeships will continue during the coronavirus (COVD-19) outbreak.  Updated: 

Government announces £50 million to support students impacted by Covid-19 New funding will go to universities to help students facing financial difficulties arising from the impact of coronavirus. 

Transport to school and other places of education: 2020 to 2021 academic year Updated 1 February 2021
What local authorities will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

Updated 

Mass asymptomatic testing: schools and colleges
Find out about implementing testing in schools and colleges.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) asymptomatic testing for staff in primary schools and nurseries
Testing for primary, school-based nursery and maintained nursery school

Actions for FE colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak

Disapplication notice: school inspections legislation changes  Updated: 
Secretary of State for Education issues a tenth notice about changes to state-funded school inspection requirements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Modification notice: school registration legislation changes Updated: 
Secretary of State for Education issues a tenth notice to modify pupil registration requirements for temporary pupils during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Education attendance restrictions to remain in place Updated: 
Prime Minister confirms schools and colleges will not return to full face-to-face education after February half-term

When will schools reopen to more pupils? Your questions answered 

Education Secretary speech to Education Policy Institute on remote learning  

Coronavirus (COVID-19) asymptomatic testing in schools and colleges  Updated: 
Information for schools and colleges about testing from January.

What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges Updated: 

Actions for FE colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak  Updated: 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial support for education, early years and children’s social care Updated: 

More here

Click here for Archive of earlier DfE updates

Ofqual

Simon Lebus responds to the Secretary of State’s direction of 23 February 2021 

How qualifications will be awarded in 2021  
An article from Chief Regulator, Simon Lebus, explaining the arrangements for 2021.

Awarding of functional skills in 2021 Updated: 
Details, by awarding organisation, of the different assessment options available for functional skills in 2021.

Vocational, technical and other general qualifications in 2021 Updated: 
Publications relating to the awarding of vocational, technical and other general qualifications in the academic year 2020 to 2021.

GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in 2021  Updated: 
Publications relating to the awarding of GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in the academic year 2020 to 2021.

Consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021: outcome Updated: 

Consultation on the general qualifications alternative awarding framework Updated: 
Technical consultation on Conditions and Requirements for GCSE, GCE, AEA and Project qualifications in summer 2021.

Regulatory arrangements for the awarding of vocational and technical and other general qualifications in 2020-2021  Updated: 
Consultation on the detail of the VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework.

Consultation on alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021  Updated: 

Consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021   Updated: 
The approach to awarding GCSE, AS and A level grades in 2021 following the cancellation of exams.

Consultation on alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other general qualifications in 2021 Updated: 
The approach to awarding vocational and technical grades in 2021 following the cancellation of exams.

Ofqual’s response to Education Secretary's letter on exams 13 January 2021

Consultation seeks views about exam advance information 10 December 2020

Extraordinary regulatory framework: VTQ, Covid-19 Conditions and Requirements Regulation, 4 December 2020
These documents set out our regulatory requirements for awarding organisations offering vocational and technical qualifications during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Extraordinary regulatory framework: General Qualifications, COVID-19 Conditions and Requirements  Regulation, updated16 October 2020
This document sets out Ofsted’s regulatory requirements for awarding organisations offering general qualifications during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Extraordinary regulatory framework: VTQ, Covid-19 Conditions and Requirements  Regulation, updated 12 October 2020
This document sets out our regulatory requirements for awarding organisations offering vocational and technical qualifications during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Joint statement from AoC, AELP, HOLEX, FAB, JCQ and Ofqual on VTQs  22 September 2020

Click here for Archive of earlier Ofqual updates

Ofsted

Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update  Detailed guide  (updated 26 February 2021)

Ofsted inspections to be done remotely Updated: 
All planned inspection activity will be carried out remotely until 8 March at the earliest.

Updated: 

Ofsted publishes short guide to what works well in remote education: 11 January 2021:
Ofsted has published some advice to help school and college leaders and teachers develop their remote education offer.

Ofsted: phased return to inspections Press release, 3 December 2020

Education plans from September 2020 Detailed guide, 3 December 2020

Ofsted announces new early years inspection arrangements 12 November 2020 Press release

Tell Ofsted if you have a COVID-19 incident at your childcare business 11 November 2020 Detailed guide

Ofsted's second report on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic  10 November 2020  Press release

Ofsted suspends all routine inspections  (17 March 2020)

Routine Ofsted inspections suspended in response to coronavirus (17 March 2020)

DfE

Helpline: Phone: 0800 046 8687  (Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday))
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

Local Government Association

Information for councils

Scotland

Scottish Government, SNCT, SQA, GTCS below

COSLA

25 August

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance on preparing for the start of the new school term in August 2020 - Version 2 (25 August)

12 August 2020

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) plan to carry out sample spot checks on schools from 13 August onward (12 August 2020)

10 August 2020

A note from the Chief Medical Officer on the latest scientific evidence on COVID-19 and reopening Scotland’s schools (pdf) (10 August 2020)

26 June 2020

Guidance for education and childcare settings on implementing physical distancing and the use of Personal Protective Equipment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (pdf) (14 May 2020)

Scottish Government / COSLA: Supporting coronavirus key workers (24 March 2020)

Workforce Issues Advisory Group

Voice Scotland has accepted an invitation from COSLA to participate in a ‘Workforce Issues Advisory Group’, involving HR advisers and the trade unions, which provides a platform to discuss and agree appropriate and consistent approaches across councils on workforce issues arising as a consequence of the spread of coronavirus Covid-19. The work of the group will be advisory and it will be for each council to make decisions based on local circumstances and national advice as matters develop. (16 March 2020)

GTCS

 
FAQs (19 March 2020)
 
 
Update for probationer teachers on our position regarding Covid-19.   (16 March 2020)
 
Joint statement from GTCS and the Scottish Council of Deans of Education on contingency plans in response to Covid-19. (16 March 2020)
 

Scottish Parliament

Scottish Government

Gradually easing lockdown restrictions: Updated Strategic Framework published. 23 February 2021
The immediate priority will continue to be the phased return of education, building on the return of some pupils to school yesterday. On the basis that progress in suppressing the virus and vaccinating key groups remains on track restrictions would be eased in the following order:

  • the next phase of school returns with the rest of the primary school years, P4 to P7, and more senior phase secondary pupils back in the classroom for part of their learning and the limit on outdoor mixing between households increasing to four people from a maximum of two households; 
  • the stay at home restriction to be lifted and any final school returns to take place.
  •  
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): Strategic Framework update - February 2021

Updates: 22 February 2021

Parents/carers of children returning to ELC and P1-3

Teacher workforce planning - 2021 exercise: statistical model - November 2020

Intake Targets for Initial Teacher Education 2021-22 (sfc.ac.uk)

Support for international students: Rules relaxed to help those needing financial support. 17 February 2021

Updates 16 February 2021:

Remote learning to continue for majority
The majority of primary and secondary school pupils will continue with remote learning until at least mid-March while children in early learning and childcare (ELC) and primaries 1 to 3 will return full-time to classrooms from Monday 22 February, plus limited numbers of S4 - S6 pupils who require to complete practical work

UPDATE ON CHILDCARE RE-OPENING TO ALL PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN (pdf)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on schools reopening

CERG guidance | COVID-19 education recovery | National Improvement Hub

Updated guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): early learning and childcare (ELC) services

Coronavirus (COVID19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues – advice on mitigations to minimise transmission of COVID-19 during phased return to in-person learning

Updates: 8 February 2021:

Asymptomatic Testing in Scottish Primary, Secondary and Special Schools, and ELC Providers – fact sheet (pdf)

HM Government: Your step-by-step guide for COVID-19 self-testing (pdf)

Focus on completing courses  4 February 2021
Moves to ensure students can complete their college and university courses this academic year are being explored.  

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for school visits and trips (updated) 3 February 2021

UPDATE ON CHILDCARE RE-OPENING TO ALL PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN 2 February 2021 (pdf)

See also: Coronavirus (COVID-19): early learning and childcare (ELC) services Last updated: 26 January 2021 
Non-statutory guidance to support the continued safe operation of ELC settings.

Back to school 2 February 2021
Phased return for some pupils.

Physical and emotional welfare of children   31 January 2021
COVID support for teachers

Letter on Vaccination of select staff working with children and young people with complex additional support needs (Alison Cumming Interim Director for Early Learning & Childcare) Scottish Government (pdf) 29 January 2021
‘Ministers have decided that staff working very closely with children and young people with the most complex additional support needs are to be offered coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations as a priority.
‘Consideration is ongoing as to whether other key worker groups, including school staff and childcare workers could be considered a priority for vaccination, once the clinically high-risk groups defined by JCVI have been vaccinated.’

Reply from John Swinney in response to letter from Community General Secretary about vaccination for key workers (January 2021)

Support for students in hardship (26 January 2021)
Students experiencing hardship as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) will be supported by £20 million of Scottish Government funding. A further £10 million has also been allocated to universities and colleges for income lost in providing rent rebates.

No changes to any lockdown measures in Scotland, including those affecting schools. Another update on education will come next week.

www.studentinformation.gov.scot/coronavirus/term-two

Guidance for schools, local authorities and parents setting out plans for a phased start to the spring term 2021 (21 January 2021)

Review of restrictions 19 January 2021
Current lockdown measures will stay in place across mainland Scotland and some island communities until at least the middle of February, the First Minister confirmed today.
Schools across Scotland will also continue to use remote learning until at least the middle of February except in the case of vulnerable children and those of key workers.
No change to ELC and childcare until at least mid-February as COVID-19 rates remain high. Nurseries & regulated childcare providers should continue to open to key worker/vulnerable children only.

Schools funding 13 January 2021
More teachers, digital devices and support for families.

Updated Coronavirus (COVID-19): support to childcare sector 13 January 2021

College and university returns postponed  8 January 2020

Education Scotland: Supporting-remote-learning

Education Scotland CERG (COVID-19 Education Recovery Group) Guidance

Arrangements for the phased reopening of schools in January 2021

Arrangements for the phased reopening of schools in January 2021 – supplementary guidance (updated 6 January 2021) (pdf) (6 January 2021)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): childcare provision from 26 December to 18 January 21 December 2020 - updated 6 January
Guidance for regulated early learning and childcare and school age childcare services.

Scotland in lockdown. 4 January 2021 

Support for outdoor play and learning 21 December 2020
New £1 million children’s winter clothing fund.

Schools guidance 21 December 2020
Updated measures for pupils and staff.

The First Minister set out new plans for the return of schools in the New Year. 18 December 2020
Teachers will return to work as planned and children of key workers and the most vulnerable children, will return to schools as planned.For the majority of pupils the holiday period will be extended until 11 January and learning will begin online from then until at least 18 January. All these measures will be kept under regular review.

    Click here for Archive of earlier Scottish Government updates

    Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT)

    SNCT Teachers' Panel letter: COVID-19 Absence of effective mitigations in schools, February 2021 (pdf)
    Letter from members of the Teachers’ Panel (which includes Voice Community Scotland) highlighting our concerns and discontent regarding the failures in implementation of mitigation measures that should already be in place in schools.

    Latest circulars (February 2021):

    Remote Schools Allowance SNCT-21-77 (pdf)

    Distant Isles Allowance SNCT-21-78 (pdf)

    JS/20/81 CORONAVIRUS - COVID–19 Quarantine Arrangements – Letter of Advice (pdf)  (11 September 2020)
    Following from the provisions set out in SNCT 20/76, paragraph 4, the Joint Secretaries’ advice regarding school holidays is as follows (pdf)

    Glasgow LNCT  Joint Secretaries Advice note – 10 September 2020 (pdf)

    SNCT 20/76: Arrangements for Re-opening Schools August 2020, CORONAVIRUS (COVID – 19) (pdf) (4 June 2020)
    The Strategic Framework for the Reopening of Schools and ELC Provision confirms that the start date of the new term is standardised to 11 August 2020 on an exceptional basis for the purposes of managing COVID-19. This requires LNCTs to take decisions regarding the following issues....

    SNCT Supply Teachers Job Retention Payment Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs (pdf) (28 May 2020)

    Joint letter to John Swinney
    Letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills from the Teachers’ Side of the SNCT, including Voice Scotland, urging the Scottish Government to continue to exercise the greatest caution regarding the reopening of schools. (15 May 2020)

    SNCT Advice on Working Time Agreements Session 2020-21 CORONAVIRUS - COVID–19 (pdf) (12 May 2020)

    SNCT Teachers' Side letter to COSLA (6 May 2020)

    SNCT JS/20/78 Supply Teachers Job Retention Scheme (pdf) (3 April 2020)
    The SNCT has now given details regarding how the issue of payment for supply teachers not in a contract as at 20 March 2020 should be administered in all councils

    SNCT 20/75 SNCT School Closures Coronavirus (COVID-19)  (pdf) (26 March 2020)

    SNCT 20-74 Coronavirus COVID-19  (pdf) (13 March 2020)

    SNCT update on COVID-19 and self-isolation  (3 March 2020)

    SNCT Emergency Provision: Maintaining Continuity of Education (16 March 2020)

    Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

    Latest updates

    Revised model for delivering National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher results in 2021 16 February 2021

    SQA Update from the Higher National and Vocational Qualifications 2021 Group  21 January 2021

    Update from the National Qualifications 2021 Group - National 5, Higher, and Advanced Higher 12 January 2021

    Update from the National Qualifications 2021 Group: Support and guidance for Higher and Advanced Higher in session 2020–21 16 December 2020

    Delivering National 5 results in 2020-21 8 December 2020

    Update from the National Qualifications 2021 Group (11 November 2020)

    2021 Higher and Advanced Higher Exam Timetable (5 November 2020)

    SQA National Courses – Delivering Results in 2020  (20 April 2020)

    Joint statement from SQA and Colleges Scotland - Update to colleges (3 April 2020)

    SQA update on arrangements for quality assurance and the certification of National Courses and Awards – a message to schools and colleges (2 April 2020)

    Joint statement from SQA and Colleges Scotland on Higher National certification (26 March 2020)

    SQA statement on coursework for National Courses (24 March 2020)

    Exams update (19 March 2020)

    Scottish Government and SQA joint statement on the Coronavirus, and impact on August 2020 certification (18 March 2020)

    SQA Statement on the Coronavirus, and impact on the National Qualifications 2020 Examinations Timetable (13 March 2020)

    Universities Scotland

    Scotland’s universities stay open and introduce measures to minimise impact of COVID-19 on students and staff (13 March 2020)

    Wales

    Estyn, Qualifications Wales, and other bodies

    Coronavirus and Me survey results (Results of survey of children in Wales) (8 June 2020)

    WLGA

    Dull gweithredu cyffredin ar gyfer ailagor ysgolion ym mis Ionawr

    School return approach for January 2021    Thursday, 17 December 2020
    Following extensive discussions a common approach has been agreed by the Welsh Government and the Welsh Local Government Association for the return to school in January.

    Cytuno ar ddull Cymru gyfan i gadw ysgolion ar agor cyn y Nadolig

    All-Wales approach agreed to keep schools open in run-up to Christmas  Friday, 04 December 2020
    A common approach has been agreed by the Welsh Government and the WLGA for school arrangements at the end of the Christmas term, following extensive discussions to aim to ensure a consistent as possible level of provision across Wales in ongoing challenging circumstances.

    Welsh Government

    Safeguarding poster (pdf)

    Written Statement: Extension to the testing offer for schools, colleges and childcare settings to include upper secondary and college learners (22 February 2021)

    Lockdown to continue for further three weeks as pupils return to school  19 February 2021 
    From Monday 22 February, children aged three to seven will begin returning to schools in a phased way, while some vocational learners on courses that require practical learning, will return to college….  “if the situation continues to improve over the next three weeks, we hope more primary school children and older students will be able to return from 15 March”.

    School admission appeals: coronavirus (COVID-19)   Updated Guidance

    School staff and their employment: coronavirus  1 Updated Detailed guide

    £15 million for education technology in schools next year   Press release

    Coronavirus (COVID-19): additional temporary guidance for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) partnerships January 2021   Detailed guide

    Consultation on school organisation proposals during the coronavirus pandemic  Detailed guide

    11 February 2021:

    Information for school governing bodies: coronavirus  Detailed guide

    £9.8 million of extra funding to support learners with Additional Learning Needs during coronavirus  Press release

    Written Statement: Additional funding for ALN provision in Wales (11 February 2021) Cabinet statement

    Written Statement: Leadership Review (9 February 2021) Cabinet statement

    10 February 2021:

    Operational guidance for schools and settings to support limited attendance
    How schools and other providers can make their sites safe for staff and learners during limited attendance. This guidance applies from 22 February.

    Canllawiau gweithredol i ysgolion a lleoliadau pan fydd cyfyngiadau ar niferoedd dysgwyr o 22 Chwefror

    Operational guidance: further education and post-16
    This revised guidance sets out requirements for face-to-face learning in further education institutions and work-based learning centres, for the period from 22 February 2021.

    Canllawiau gweithredol: addysg bellach ac ôl-16
    Mae’r canllawiau diwygiedig hyn yn nodi’r gofynion ar gyfer trefniadau dysgu wyneb yn wyneb mewn sefydliadau addysg bellach a chanolfannau dysgu yn y gweithle, ar gyfer y cyfnod o 22 Chwefror 2021 ymlaen.

    Testing offer for schools, colleges and childcare settingsAll those working at education settings will be offered tests that they can undertake at home twice a week. Further information, instruction for use, latest documents and guides, as well as additional resources regarding this testing offer are available hereThis testing offer will be delivered on an opt out basis, therefore, if you do not wish to take up this testing offer, please let your school know.

    Further education: coronavirus   Updated Detailed guide

    £29 million extra support for further education students  

    Routine testing for education and childcare staff: guidance

    Updated schools FAQs

    Open letter to headteachers  
    hased return to face to face learning for Foundation Phase learners (3 – 7 year olds) from 22 February. Updated operational guidance will be published early next week, including the use of high quality face coverings for staff. Schools and settings will be offered lateral flow tests for all staff twice weekly.

    Llythyr agored at benaethiaid

    Further education: coronavirus  Detailed guide

    “Phased and flexible back-to-school approach if coronavirus cases continue to fall” – First Minister 29 January 2021

    Written Statement: Education provision for vulnerable learners, children of critical workers and learners who need to complete essential exams or assessments (28 January 2021)

    Registering temporary pupils: coronavirus  Guidance

    Changes to school session times: coronavirus  Guidance

    Oral Statement: Update on Qualifications for 2021 (26 January 2021)  Cabinet statement

    Written Statement: Curriculum for Wales: Implementation Plan (27 January 2021) Cabinet statement

    Independent review of the summer 2020 arrangements to award grades, and considerations for summer 2021: final report December 2020  Report

    Written Statement: Independent Review of the Arrangements to Award General Qualifications in Summer 2020 (22 January 2021)   Cabinet statement

    Changes to qualifications confirmed by Education Minister Kirsty Williams following further disruption to learning  Press release

    Written Statement: Update on General Qualifications in 2021 (20 January 2021)  Cabinet statement

    Design and Delivery Advisory Group: letter to the minister January 2021  Public response

    £40 million extra to support students facing financial hardship  Press release

    50 online learning logins a second and other ways that show how Wales is ‘leading the way’ in digital services to support remote learning  Press release

    Information for school governing bodies: coronavirus  Updated Detailed guide 

    Further education: coronavirus  Updated Detailed guide

    Live straming and video conferencing guidance

    Written Statement: Update on Delivery of Higher Education in Wales (8 January 2021) 
    Our message to students, staff and universities in general is the same as the rest of the population: Stay home, work or study from home if you can. Only attend your place of work or study if you can’t work from home.  Universities will let students know when they should return to campus.

    First Minister: “Stay home to save lives”  8 January 2020
    "Unless there is a significant reduction in cases of coronavirus before 29 January – the date of the next three-week review of the regulations – school and college students will continue to learn online until the February half term."

    Letter to secondary schools (pdf)

    Llythyr ysgolion uwchradd (pdf)

    Letter to primary schools (pdf)

    Llythyr ysgolion cynradd (pdf)

    Letter to special schools (pdf)

    Llythyr ysgolion arbennig (pdf)

    Changes to the School Organisation Code: coronavirus   Guidance

    Registering temporary pupils: coronavirus  Guidance

    Return to school and college arrangements following Christmas break 5 January 2021 / Trefniadau ar gyfer dychwelyd i’r ysgol a’r coleg ar ôl gwyliau’r Nadolig 5 Ionawr 2021

    Written Statement: Return to school and college arrangements (4 January 2021)

    Click here for Archive of earlier Welsh Government updates

    National Assembly for Wales

    Scrutiny of Covid-19 and its impact on children and young people (including students in further and higher education) (28 April 2020)

    Estyn

    Supporting continuity of learning for children and young people (29 July 2020)

    Community schools families and communities at the heart of school life  (7 July 2020)
    New report to help schools build community partnerships to support the learning and wellbeing of pupils and their families during this difficult time.

    Supporting continuity of learning for children and young people (23 April 2020)

    Estyn inspections and other visits suspended to support providers to stay open and reduce pressure – COVID-19  (16 March 2020)

    Qualifications Wales

    9 February 2021:

    Assessment Guidance for 2021

    Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificates - Awarding in Summer 2021

    Alternative arrangements for Essential Skills Wales qualifications in 2021

    WJEC timeline (pdf)

    Statement on exams from Qualifications Wales 20 January 2021

    Qualifications Wales cancels the spring internal assessment window - due between 22 February and 23 April - for GCSE, AS and A levels 8 January 2021 

    Confirmation that January 2021 vocational exams will continue as planned 7 January 2021 

    Cadarnhad y bydd arholiadau galwedigaethol Ionawr 2021 yn parhau yn ôl y bwriad 7 Ion 2021

    Cymwysterau Cymru yn cadarnhau’r dull asesu ar gyfer haf 2021  16 Rhagfyr 2020

    Qualifications Wales confirms assessment approach for summer 2021 16 December 2020

    Qualifications Wales confirms January GCSE unit exams will be cancelled, 24 November 2020

    QW recommends way forward for awarding qualifications in summer 2021 29 October 2020
    Qualifications Wales is recommending that external assessments be retained for GCSEs, AS and A levels next summer, but that there should be no timetabled exams except for A levels

    Qualifications 2021 (October 2020)

    Qualifications Wales Consultation into arrangements for the summer 2020 exam series: decisions (30 June 2020)
    Voice's consultation response

    Qualified for the future consultation outcome (pdf) (4 June 2020)

    Health and social care and childcare qualifications in Wales (added 30 April 2020)

    Consultation: arrangements for summer 2020 exam series (28 April 2020):

    Essential Skills Wales learners to receive calculated result  (20 April 2020)

    Qualifications Wales issues guidance to teachers (3 April 2020):

    Latest updates and guidance

    FAQs 

    Letter: update on exams (pdf) (27 March 2020)

    Updates on exams

    Work-based learning and apprenticeships: coronavirus (26 March 2020)

    Testing Times (23 March 2020)

    Issuing grades for qualifications summer 2020 and other updates (20 March 2020)

    Letter from Qualifications Wales (pdf) (20 March)

    • Grades for GCSE and A level qualifications in 2020 will be calculated using a range of evidence. They will be based on a combination of factors which may include marks for work completed to date, for example AS results for A level grades, and standardised teacher assessed grades.
    • Teacher assessed grades will be based on what teachers would expect a learner to achieve at the end of the course.  This will be a professional, holistic judgement based on the combined assessment information held for that learner.  They will not be target grades or related to performance measures (which are suspended for this year in any event).
    • Grades for AS Levels or for unit assessments taken by Year 10 learners will not be issued.  For those learners, the options are still being considered, including the opportunity to sit exams in subsequent exam series.
    • The options for issuing grades for vocational courses are also still being considered.

    Update (19 March 2020)

    Guidance for schools and colleges

    Universities Wales

    Universities Wales statement on return to in person teaching (1 February 2021)

    WJEC

    FAQs

    WJEC exam materials 

    Statement on exams 20 January 2021

    Qualifications Wales confirms January GCSE unit exams will be cancelled, 24 November 2020

    WJEC: Summer 2021 adaptations (September 2020)

    Coronavirus FAQs - Non-Examination Assessment (NEA) (9 April 2020)

    Arrangement for awarding summer 2020 (4 April 2020)

    Update on exams (27 March 2020)

    Issuing graders for summer 2020 (20 March 2020)

    Cancellation of summer examination 2020 - Wales (18 March 2020)

    Northern Ireland

    Department of Education (Northern Ireland)

    Latest Department of Education updates in relation to COVID-19 (coronavirus) (updated daily)

    Children and Young People’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing in Education Framework launched 26 February 2021
    An investment of £6.5million annually will be provided 

    Weir announces dates for CCEA 2021 examination results 25 February 2021
    Dates for CCEA 2021 examination results announced 

    Circular 2021/03 - Curriculum Planning - March 2021 - Return for Years 1 to 3 to face-to-face learning  Published 25 February 2021

    COVID-19 Home Test Kits - National Testing Initiative - Replenishment of Kits  Published 22 February 2021 Guidance literature
    All educational settings in Northern Ireland received ten COVID-19 home test kits under the Department of Health and Social Care's National Testing Initiative.

    Phased return of pupils to start in March  18 February 2021
    Pre-school, nursery and primary school pupils in P1 to P3 will return from 8 March 2021

    Weir announces further measures to support childcare providers 17 February 2021
    Extension to the Covid-19 Childcare Temporary Closure fund for the period January to March 2021

    Effective practice in remote learning   9 February 2021
    The Department has simplified its remote learning guidance into a one-page, quick glance document for schools entitled Effective Practice in Remote Learning.

    High level guide for schools and colleges - Alternative awarding arrangements 2021 Published 03 February 2021 Guidance literature
    This guide provides an initial high level overview of the alternative awarding arrangements for CCEA GCSE, AS and A Level qualifications for 2021.

    Leaflet for Parents and Students - Alternative Awarding Arrangements 2021 - Overview  Published 03 February 2021 Guidance literature

    Frequently Asked Questions - Alternative awarding arrangements - summer 2021

    Five step process - alternative awarding arrangements 2021  Published 02 February 2021 Guidance literature

    Factsheet for parents and students - alternative awarding arrangements 2021 Published 02 February 2021 Guidance literature

    Statement on alternative awarding arrangements for summer 2021 02 February 2021
    Education Minister outlines arrangements for awarding CCEA qualifications this summer.

    Ministers outline proposals for vaccination of staff in special schools  1 February 2021
    Staff in special schools who are supporting children with the most complex healthcare needs will be offered the vaccine 

    Remote learning to continue until March - Weir  28 January 2021
    Schools will continue to provide remote learning until at least 5 March ..

    Weekly Covid-19 testing for special schools 27 January 2021
    A programme of weekly testing of pupils and staff is to be introduced in special schools in Northern Ireland at the start of February

    Weir – important that admissions criteria are fair and robust  22 January 2021

    Income Support Scheme for Substitute Teachers 22 January 2021
    Peter Weir has introduced a further scheme to help support substitute teachers during the current six-week period of sch...

    Weir announces £1m for Residential Outdoor Education Centres 22 January 2021
    £1m funding has been secured to provide much needed support to Outdoor Education Centres

    Report into alternative awarding arrangements published 21 January 2021

    Statement from Education Minister on AQE Test 13 January 2021
    AQE will not operate a test this year 

    Weir highlights significant investment to support remote learning  10 January 2021

    Education Minister announces all GCSE, AS and A2 exams due to take place in January, February, May and June will be cancelled 06 January 2021

    Weir sets out plans for education provision 05 January 2021

    Minister announces new measures to support childcare providers  05 January 2021
    Financial assistance for Covid-19 related closures in the childcare sector .

    Updated Circular - Further guidance for schools on supporting remote learning 05 January 2021

    Weir announces changes to schools` reopening arrangements 31 December 2020
    Revised plans announced for schools reopening after the Christmas break.

    Statement from the Education Minister to the Ad Hoc Committee 21 December 2020
    Education Minister's statement to the Ad Hoc Committee of the Assembly on the resumption of schools after Christmas

    Schools to return in January - Weir 18 December 2020
    Schools and other education settings will reopen in the first week of January.

    Statement from the Education Minister on the transfer test 18 December 2020
    Stakeholders urged to work together so children can sit the transfer test in their own primary school.

    Weir outlines plans for exams and assessments in 2021 15 December 2020

    Limavady schools take part in COVID-19 rapid testing initiative  07 December 2020
    Two schools in Limavady are participating in an NHS COVID-19 testing scheme.

    Minister announces new measures to support childcare providers 03 December 2020
    Childcare Sustainability Support Fund will be open for applications from Friday 4 December

    Schools are not closing early for Christmas holidays - Weir 30 November 2020
    No plans to extend schools' Christmas holidays

    School holiday food grants to be extended until Easter 2022  19 November 2020
    Families of young people who are entitled to Free School Meals will receive food grants during school holidays

    Education Restart Wellbeing fund launched 17 November 2020
    £5million fund to help educational settings support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people 

    Delivery of GCSEs in 2020/21 - Food and Nutrition, Government and Politics, Health and Social Care, Religious Studies and Statistics 06 November 2020

    Update on Physical Education in schools  03 November 2020
    Peter Weir secures legal change to allow schools and other education settings to deliver PE:

    Notice - Coronavirus Act 2020 Temporary Modification of Education Duties (No. 15) Notice (Northern Ireland) 2020 04 November 2020
    The Department of Education has exercised the power provided under section 38(3)(c) and paragraph 17(1), (2)(a)(ii) and (7) of Schedule 17 to the Coronavirus Act 2020 to issue a Notice to temporarily modify Article 58 (1)(a) and (5)(a) of the Education and Libraries (NI) Order

    Parents can play critical role in keeping schools safe - Weir 02 November 2020

    Face coverings to be mandatory on all school transport for post-primary children 29 October 2020

    Click here for Archive of DENI, CCEA and Education Authority updates and news

    UK

    UK Government

    Latest updates on furlough and other support schemes

    Chancellor extends furlough scheme until October  (12 May 2020)

    Chancellor announces help for self-employed (26 March 2020)

    The Chancellor's updated statement on coronavirus. (20 March 2020)
    The Chancellor unveiled today (20 March) a further series of measures to support people, jobs and businesses.

    COVID-19: guidance for employees (20 March 2020)

    COVID-19: Government announces moving out of contain phase and into delay 

    Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response

    Coronavirus action plan  (3 March 2020)

    National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC):
     
    How to make sure your organisation is prepared for an increase in home working, and advice on spotting coronavirus (COVID-19) scam emails.

     

    Useful contacts

    Acas

    Guidance for employers and employees from Acas, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, an independent body funded by the Government, is available here: www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus

    Government

    HMRC Guidance for employers on the coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

    BEIS guidance for employees: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees#furloughed-workers

    Guidance: Check if you could be covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

    Covid-19: support for businesses: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

    Covid-19: guidance for employees: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

    Self-employment support

    Scheme link: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/self-employment-income-support-scheme/
    FAQs link: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/self-employment-income-support-scheme-faqs/

    Health

    NHS: Health-related guidance from the National Health Service is available here:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

    For online NHS self-isolation sick notes: NHS 111 online

    Public Health Guidance

    Public Health England including, eg, specific guidance for employers, educational and health-related organisations, and an option to receive updates directly is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

    Public Health Wales: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/

    Health Protection Scotland: https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/wuhan-novel-coronavirus/

    Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland: https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/news/covid-19-coronavirus

     

    Page first published: 3 March 2020

     

     
     

    Contacts

    Press office

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    01332 373 337

    Voice Scotland

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    0131 220 8241