Best Start Grant School Age Payment

Families in Scotland can get £250 to help with school costs.

Social Security Scotland’s School Age Payment is now open for applications.

The payment is available to low-income families on certain benefits and tax credits to help cover the costs of a child starting school.

Eligible parents of children born between 1 March 2015 and 29 Feb 2016 can access the payment, whether their child is attending school or not.

People can apply for the payment between 1 June 2020 and 28 February 2021.

Visit mygov.scot to find out more.

ELC Enrolment Guidance for Parents 2021-22

How do I apply for a place?

Children born between 17 August 2016 and 28 February 2019 are entitled to a funded Early Learning and Childcare place.

For Early Learning and Childcare places, enrolment week commences Monday 8 February and concludes on Friday 12 February 2021.

Please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no face-to-face enrolment in Early Learning and Childcare settings this session. Parents and guardians are requested to apply for a place online. Those with no access to the online process can request a paper copy of the enrolment form from their chosen setting during ELC enrolment week. 

For all settings including Local Authority settings, partner settings and commissioned Childminders, please contact your chosen setting directly and they will be able to advise you on their own enrolment arrangements.

https://self.highland.gov.uk/service/enrol_your_child_in_school_or_nursery

Enrolment Information for Parents and Carers

Return to school update

For the attention of parents and carers in Highland

On 2 February, an announcement was made in the Scottish Parliament by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, about remote learning and the future return to face-to-face learning in schools.  This message includes the key information that children, young people and their families need to know.

The key points are as follows:

  • The remote learning offer, alongside support in-school for vulnerable and key worker children and young people, will continue until Friday 19 February.
  • From week beginning 22 February, there will be a partial return to schools as follows:
    • Full time attendance for Early learning and childcare children, and for children in P1-3.
    • Part-time attendance for young people in the Senior Phase who need to attend in order to complete practical work that is necessary for the completion of national qualification courses. 
    • Further clarification about future plans for the re-opening of schools will be shared by the Scottish Government on 16 February.
  • There will be a roll-out of testing for some workers in educational settings and pupils in the Senior phase, which will help to ensure that the partial return to school is as safe as possible. This is in line with national guidance.

It is important to remember that all of our Highland schools will be closed for the long weekend (Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 February are holidays, and Wednesday 17 February is the In-Service Day).  During those days our school buildings will be closed and there will be no provision for vulnerable children and the children of key workers. 

We are currently working through these guidelines and are planning for the week beginning 22 February.  We will continue to keep parents, carers and families informed.

Further updates about free school meals will be issued next week.

Meanwhile, the current remote learning situation continues, with the continued emphasis on following guidance from the Scottish Government to protect the NHS and save lives.  Thank you for your patience and support.

Fuel Support Fund

Households in the Highland who are on low income and experiencing fuel insecurities as a result of COVID-19 can apply for a Fuel Support Fund from The Highland Council. The £270,000 Fuel Support Fund has been set up by the Council using Scottish Government funding which can be used flexibly to alleviate financial insecurities.

Low income households within Highland experiencing fuel insecurities can apply for a non-repayable £60 grant. Full details including online application https://www.highland.gov.uk/fuelsupportfund

The council’s Welfare Support Team provide free, impartial and confidential support to claim all entitlements including the Fuel Support Fund. Call free on 0800 090 1004 or email welfare.support@highland.gov.uk

Please find attached the new edition, Issue 8, of Highland Council’s Military Liaison Group (Education) Newsletter.

The MLG partnership works with Educators and Practitioners providing information, training and resources and provides helpful advice, guidance and support to families of Armed Forces.