Face coverings update - from Monday 31 August
New national guidance on the wearing of face coverings in schools and on school transport has been issued by the Scottish Government.
The new national guidance is that from Monday 31 August 2020 face coverings should be worn:
- where adults and young people in secondary schools are moving about the school in corridors and confined communal areas (including toilets) where physical distancing and maintaining appropriate distance is particularly difficult;
- where adults and children and young people aged 5 and over are travelling on dedicated school transport
Face coverings should cover the mouth, nose and chin. It is recommended they are made of cloth or other textiles and should be two, and preferably three layers thick.
Existing guidance that face coverings do not need to be worn in classrooms or other learning and teaching environments still applies.
Face coverings should also be worn by adults where they cannot keep 2m distance and are interacting face-to-face for a sustained period (about 15 minutes or more) with other adults and/or children and young people.
Any staff member who wishes to wear a face covering in school is permitted to do so.
Some individuals are exempt from wearing face covering for a variety of reasons and we would encourage everyone to be understanding of individual circumstances.
Staff and pupils who require face coverings should bring their own with them. Anyone who does not have their own face covering, or has any issues with it, should speak to their school.
Safely wearing face coverings
- Face coverings should not be shared, and hands should be cleaned by washing with soap and water or hand sanitiser and before putting on or removing the face covering
- Face covering must be the right size to cover the nose, mouth and chin. Children should be taught how to wear the face covering properly, including not touching the front and not pulling it under the chin or into their mouth.
- When temporarily storing a face covering (e.g. during classes), it should be placed in a washable, sealed bag or container. Avoid placing it on surfaces, due to the possibility of contamination.
- Re-usable face coverings should be washed after each day of use at 60 degrees centigrade or in boiling water.
More details at Scottish Government - Coronavirus advice for schools
FAQs - Re-opening of Schools and Early Years Establishments
Common Cold and COVID-19 Symptoms
In many cases, children will be well enough to attend school and continue their learning with little or no interruption to their education. In other cases, for instance where they have quite a heavy cold, they may need to take a day or two off to recover.
This is not the case for children and young people with potential COVID-19 symptoms. They are required to self-isolate and seek a test through nhsinform.scot or by calling 0800 028 2816.
In order to ensure your children do not miss out on their education, it is important to be clear about how COVID-19 symptoms differ from those of other infections that we normally see circulating at this time of year.
It is important that all of us - including those who make up the community around a school - are vigilant for the symptoms of COVID-19 and understand what actions we should take if someone develops them, either at school or at home.
The main symptoms to be aware of are:
- new continuous cough
- fever/high temperature
- loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste
If a young person or a child in your care develops any of the above symptoms, they should self-isolate and you should book them a test as soon as possible at nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect, or by calling 0800 028 2816.
We recommend testing only for those with a continuous cough, fever, or loss of or change in the sense of taste or smell. The UK senior clinicians continue to keep the symptoms for case definition under review and will continue to use evidence to adjust these if it becomes necessary.
It is essential that people who have COVID-19 symptoms, or who share a household with someone who has symptoms, do not attend school, nursery or other childcare settings, and must self-isolate along with all members of their household. If the test is negative, self-isolation can end for everyone. If the test is positive, Test and Protect will give you further advice.
If, however, your child does not have symptoms of COVID-19 but has other cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, they do not need to be tested and they and you do not need to self-isolate. Your child can go to school if fit to do so.
This advice has been provided by Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director for the Scottish Government.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with details of your enquiry.
No. If you have purchased a weekly bus ticket for your child before 3pm on Tuesday 11 August, you will NOT be able to collect this from your school today as previously advised. We have a record of those who have purchased a ticket and so you do not require the physical ticket for your child's first journey. Children can collect their ticket from the school office tomorrow or from their first day at school. Parents/carers who do not have an IPayImpact account should inform us at email@example.com by 3pm if they require travel from tomorrow to allow us to add your child to the bus register. Your child can pay for their ticket at the school office on your child's first day.
- All West Lothian schools and Early Learning and Childcare settings have now re-opened
- Secondary schools will encourage maintain distance where possible, especially with senior pupils as an additional precautionary measure
- Adults working in schools - including teachers and support staff - should maintain two metres distance from each other and pupils, and wear face coverings when this is not possible, such as for extended face-to-face interactions
- Any pupil or staff member who wishes to wear a face covering can do so.
- Where adults cannot keep 2m distance and are interacting face to face for 15 minutes or more, coverings should be worn
From Monday 31 August, new national guidance is that face coverings should be worn under the following circumstances:
- where adults and children and young people aged 5 and over are travelling on dedicated school transport
- where adults and young people in secondary schools are moving about the school in corridors and confined communal areas (including toilets) where physical distancing and maintaining appropriate distance is particularly difficult.
- Enhanced hygiene measures will be in place - including regular cleaning of touch points
- Hand washing and cleaning in schools will help to reduce the risk of transmission
- Hand washing or sanitising will be available at entry/exit points to allow all building users to wash/sanitise their hands as they enter leave the building at the start and end of the school day, at lunch/break times
- Handwashing and sanitising will also be available at each classroom entrance, and dining hall entrances
- Public health messages, such as avoiding touching your face or discouraging contact such as hand greets and hugs, will be reinforced
- Mitigation measures such as hand sanitising, greater ventilation and improved cleaning regimes will be used to minimise risk
- Pupils will be kept in the same groups where possible and large gatherings of children in schools, such as assemblies, will be avoided. More outdoor activities are planned
Adults and children and young people aged 5 and over travelling on dedicated school transport should wear a face covering from Monday 31 August.
Anyone who is eligible for free school transport and has not yet applied should do so as soon as possible at Applications for Free School Transport
Applications should be made for pupils who are going into P1, S1, S5 & S6.
All other pupils should retain their current passes for use in the 2020/21 school session.
If a pupil has lost their pass, an application for a replacement should be made as soon as possible also using the e-form above.
In line with national Test and Protect guidelines, there is a requirement to record of every pupil registered for each bus, therefore no pupil will be allowed to travel on school transport unless they are registered in advance and show the necessary bus pass for the route on the day.
Pupils who do not have a valid bus pass will not be permitted to travel, and pupils with valid passes will only be able to travel on the route that they have been assigned.
Parents/carers will receive confirmation of route details following their application.
Non-entitled pupils travelling on fare-paying routes must now book and pre-pay journeys in advance. Pupils will not be able to travel unless they have pre-booked and have a valid ticket for the journey. This will be administered by individual schools and further details of the specific process will be provided as soon as possible
Due to COVID 19, the use of 10 journey tickets and onboard cash has been suspended and a new cashless process has now been implemented.
Parents of non-entitled pupils travelling on fare-paying routes must now pre-book and pre-pay for journeys in advance.
For more details, please visit Fare Paying School Transport
Pupils attending Additional Support Needs schools will be contacted individually over transport arrangements.
We would also encourage parents to consider if they could active travel to school, using foot "Park and Stride", bike or scooter if possible.
Guidance has been produced setting out expectations and key requirements relating to home to school transport for parents/carers and pupils in light of the COVID 19 pandemic. The protocol draws on national guidance and is aligned with Public Health guidance in order that consistent practice can be applied across school transport provision in West Lothian. For more details please visit School Transport Parent/Carer & Pupil guidance
Guidance has been produced setting out expectations and key requirements relating to home to school transport for parents/carers and pupils in light of the COVID 19 pandemic.
The protocol draws on national guidance and is aligned with Public Health guidance in order that consistent practice can be applied across school transport provision in West Lothian.
For more details please visit School Transport Parent/Carer & Pupil guidance
School meals will be served as normal, however lunch and break times will be staggered to minimise contact between pupils
- All pupils can bring in their own snacks and lunches from home. All pupils will stay on campus over lunches unless a parent/carer requests they return home
- Breakfast clubs will resume with each school confirming their local arrangements
- All pupils will be asked not to share food or drinks
We have been working to implement systems removing the need for any touch points on machines when paying for and collecting food from school canteens. This can be done by downloading an app called Fusion Mobile or by using a contactless card provided by your secondary school.
Fusion Mobile App
Downloading this app will allow pupils to pre-order and pay for items from their school canteen using their mobile phones. Pupils will now be able to use the Fusion Mobile app which is integrated with iPayImpact (iPay). This works the same way as before with parents/carers being able to top up their child's account via iPay but will now allow pupils to view their balance from their phone and place their orders in advance of collection.
Information on how pupils can download the app is provided below and pupils can register their account when downloaded using their GLOW email address and by creating their own account password. More details on how you can connect to your child's account through iPay is also provided below. For further information on iPay please also visit parentsportal.scot
'Contactless cards' will also be issued to pupils as an alternative to the mobile phone app. These new contactless cards will be unique to each pupil and will only display a pupil's first and surname alongside the name of their school. The cards use a proximity reader similar to other contactless card payment methods. The cards for each pupil are linked to their parent/carer iPay account and these can be topped up as normal through iPay. Payments are now able to be made using the card without the need for any touch points. Pupils will be able to view their account balance at any time whenever they use one of the card reader machines.
Just like ordinary contactless cards, it is really important that these are always kept in a safe place by pupils to ensure these are only ever used by the card owner. We recommend that when these cards are being used they are topped up frequently and in small amounts as a safeguarding measure in case a card is ever lost. Any lost cards need to be reported to the Catering Manager in the school who will deactivate the lost card and issue a replacement. A cost of £5 will be incurred for a replacement which will be deducted from the account.
If pupils are using the Fusion Mobile app we also strongly recommend that parent/carers keep hold of the contactless card to reduce the chances of this getting lost at school as the app and card should not be used together but instead be an option of preferred payment to be used.
Although we currently do not have the ability for orders to be placed in advance out with the new mobile phone app, this is something that is currently being developed and will be available in the near future enabling all iPay users to place orders via a web browser.
Guide for Pupils on How to Download the New Fusion Mobile App
An email will be issued to all parents/carers with an iPay account early next week. This will contain personalised sign up codes.
Download the app
You can download the app by scanning the relevant QR code for your phone, or by searching 'Fusion Mobile' on your app store.
If you have problems finding the app, head on over to Fusion Online for the download links.
Create an account
When you have downloaded the app, you will need to create your account that can be used to pre-order your food. On the login page, tap on the Sign-up option.
Next, either click on the Scan Code button and follow the on-screen instructions to scan your unique onboarding code or you can type in your code.
Now please enter your GLOW e-mail address. Enter a password and choose a security question, providing an answer that you will remember (You'll need this if you ever forget your password).
Tap on the Register option and you'll receive an activation e-mail shortly afterwards. Follow the instructions in the e-mail to complete your registration. If you do not get the email please check you junk / spam email folder.
Once activated, you can log into the app and start placing orders.
What can you do in the app?
Check your balance
No longer do you need to queue at a device in the school to check your balance; you can now check your balance at home or on the school bus, at any time of day.
Order your food in advance
Choose when you're ordering for, where you want to collect your food from, and then select from our available menus.
Bring your phone with you to collect your meal to show your unique order number and our canteen staff will have your food ready and waiting for you to collect.
View your upcoming meal selections
If you've placed multiple pre-orders, it's easy to check what you've ordered from within the app. The app will show you all your meal choices along with your unique order number, so that when it's time to collect your food all you need to do is turn up and show your order number.
Do you have more questions about the cashless system?
If you have any queries which you do not feel have been fully answered below, please contact your school office who will be able to help.
What if I need help with the app?
Please contact your school office if there is anything at all you need help with. You can also visit Fusion Online help section to view a range of articles that might also be helpful.
Does the Fusion Mobile app cost any money to download or use?
- The app is free to both download and use however a connection to the internet is required for both. Internet charges may apply if not using a Wi-Fi connection.
Do I need to pay for one of the new contactless cards?
- The first card will be provided at no cost. If a card is lost there will be a small fee of £5 for a replacement.
What happens if my child loses their card?
- If a card is lost this should be reported to the school office immediately so that the card can be deactivated. We strongly recommend that our parents/carers top up their iPay accounts frequently and in small amounts where their child is using a contactless card in order to mitigate any financial loss resulting from cards falling into the wrong hands. These cards will only work on school machines for canteen purchases and will not work out-with the school. A new card can be reordered and activated by the school if lost cards are not found or returned.
What personal data relating to me and my child will be used?
- Our schools currently use iPayImpact (iPay) for all school online payments. The Fusion Mobile app uses the same provider, allowing for the app and iPay to be integrated. If you choose to use the mobile phone app as your child's contactless catering method no new additional personal information will be requested or required (other than the school GLOW email address for your child when they are registering their account after downloading the app). Personal information will not be used any differently than it is now in relation to the authentication and management of your iPay account.
The contactless cards are created by Inprint Services, the Council's in-house print management and reprographics service. The only information we will share with Inprint to create your child's unique card is your child's name and school.
How do I link my iPay account with my child's Fusion Mobile app or contactless card?
- You do not need to do anything, this will be done automatically when your child signs up for the app. The sign-up detail provided identifies your child linked to your iPay account and in turn makes this link for you. The contactless card is issued pre-linked to your iPay account so no additional action is required.
- All schools will consider staggered break and lunch times. However, in line with guidance, staggering break/lunch times to the extent that they reduce time for learning and teaching will be avoided
- There will be no mid-morning catering provision within secondary schools. Breakfast and lunch is still provided.
- Wherever possible, efforts will be made to keep pupils within the same groups for the duration of the school day. All schools will consider how to reduce the movement of groups across different parts of the school estate where possible. In particular school assemblies and other types of large gatherings will not take place
- Out of school care services on council premises will be supported to re-open, subject to compliance with Scottish Government guidance and completion of the necessary risk assessments. Parents/carers should contact their Out of School Care provider for more details
- Parents/carers should not enter school premises without permission from the school or an appointment which should be booked directly with schools. Anyone entering school premises should at all times maintain 2 meters physical distancing from school staff and other parents and observe the guidance
- Allowances will be made for parents of Early Years and P1 pupils in particular as part of transition arrangements. Individual schools will provide parents/carers with information on these local arrangements
- Exceptions may be made for parents or pupils with a disability or additional support needs, as long as these maintain 2 metres physical distancing. If parents/carers have any questions, they should contact their school directly
- School start/close times may be staggered for different year groups to reduce congestion
Individual schools will confirm local arrangements directly with parents/carers
- Yes, school uniform should be worn as normal, unless advised otherwise by the school.
- Yes. Please only bring essentials and items should not be shared with other pupils
- Yes, outdoors where possible. Schools will advise parents on any kit required and how classes will take place
- In primary schools, groups will be based on classes
- In the broad General Education in Secondary Schools (S1-3) groups will be based on whole year groups, whilst minimising contacts as far as possible
- The Senior Phases in Secondary Schools (S4-6) will be treated as a group
- Specific measures will be in place at each school and schools will communicate directly with parents/carers
- No pupils or staff should attend school if they show any of the main symptoms of COVID-19. Should anyone experience symptoms they should follow the Test and Protect procedures. The most common symptoms are a new continuous cough, fever/high temperature and loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste
- Pupils who are clinically vulnerable will be able to return to school unless they receive specific medical advice not do so. Parents/cares should liaise with their GP and School if they have any questions
Requests for additional protections will be supported where possible for Black and Ethnic Minority pupils and staff due to evidence of increased risk. Parents/carers should speak to their school directly
FAQs - questions you may have if there's a confirmed COVID-19 case within a school
Incidents of confirmed cases are led by NHS Lothian Public Health. If there is a confirmed case within a school, the decision on what action is required rests with the Public Health Consultant responsible for each case, and their decision would be based on the individual circumstances.
When a person with a positive test is identified in West Lothian, they will be contacted by NHS Lothian Public Health to provide a detailed list of all of their contacts in recent days. Those people will then be contacted and risk assessed. As part of that process, those contacted by NHS Lothian Public Health direct may then be asked to self-isolate or be told to be aware and vigilant of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, such as high fever, loss of sense of smell or taste and new and persistent cough.
In the case of a confirmed positive test within a school, all parents with children who attend the school will receive a GroupCall message or an email providing general information, depending in the method most commonly used in the school. The messages will usually explain that someone in their school has tested positive and that robust contact tracing by trained health professionals is underway.
If the process of contact tracing is likely to take some time and where possible, a second GroupCall message or email may be sent when the contact tracing process is complete to reassure parents, who may be worried that they may yet be called.
Letters containing important health advice and guidance will then be issued by Public Health urging people to be aware of symptoms and continue vital infection control measures, such as handwashing and wearing a face covering. Often schools will issue this letter on behalf of NHS Lothian.
Where there is an outbreak, NHS Lothian Public Health provides the school with instructions and guidance based on the individual circumstances. All cases are different and often complex and it may take time to collate and distribute accurate information to parents/carers.
We appreciate the importance of clear and concise information being provided to parents/carers as quickly as possible.
We know this issue can cause concern but please be patient with school staff. The school will issue information as soon as they can.
Much of the information given to parents via a school is provided by NHS Lothian Public Health and the school can only issue information following instruction from NHS Lothian Public Health.
A school cannot provide confidential details to all parents/carers to confirm which pupil/pupils have been confirmed as having COVID-19, and we would urge all parents to be mindful of respecting the privacy of others.
When a pupil with a positive test is identified in West Lothian, their parent will be contacted by NHS Lothian Public Health to provide a detailed list of all of their contacts in recent days. Those people will then be contacted and risk assessed. They may then be asked to self-isolate or be told to be aware and vigilant of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, such as high fever, loss of sense of smell or taste and new and persistent cough.
In the case of a school, all parents with children who attend the school will receive a GroupCall message or an email providing general information, depending in the method most commonly used in the school.
The messages will usually explain that someone in their school has tested positive and that robust contact tracing by trained health professionals is underway. The message will usually clarify if the school is to remain open. If you are not contacted as part of the contact tracing and risk assessment mentioned above then you should continue to send your child to school the following day.
When a person with a positive test is identified from a West Lothian school, they will be contacted by NHS Lothian Public Health to provide a detailed list of all of their contacts in recent days. Those people will then be contacted and risk assessed. If you are contacted, please follow the guidance/instruction provided.
We would encourage parents/carers who receive a call from NHS Lothian Public Health not to widely share the information until communication from NHS Lothian Public Health has been issued to the whole school community, to avoid causing unnecessary concern to others.
When a person with a positive test is identified from a West Lothian school, they will be contacted by NHS Lothian Public Health to provide a detailed list of all of their contacts in recent days. Those people will then be contacted and risk assessed. Those parents/pupils should follow the guidance provided by NHS Lothian Public Health.
If you are not contacted as part of that contact tracing and risk assessment you should continue to send your child/children to school the following day.
Remember: if at any time your child/children has a persistent cough, or a temperature/fever or a loss of taste or smell they should not attend school.
Enhanced hygiene measures are already in place within schools - including regular cleaning of touchpoints. However, if there is a confirmed case within a school then the extent of the enhanced cleaning is assessed and carried out based on the individual circumstances of each case, and agreed by Public Health officials. Rest assured that all appropriate cleaning is carried out within our schools, in line with Government and NHS advice.
In line with the Scottish Government advice, in both primary and secondary settings, wherever possible, efforts are made to keep children and young people within the same groups for the duration of the school day.
Consistent groups reduce the likelihood of direct transmission, allow for quicker identification of those who need to self-isolate and may reduce the overall number of children, young people and staff who need to isolate in the event of a positive test for COVID-19.
Within West Lothian Schools, the following groupings will be adopted, and maintained for the duration of the school day, as far as possible:
- In Primary Schools, groups will be based on classes;
- in the Broad General Education in Secondary Schools (S1-3) groups will be based on whole year groups, whilst minimising contacts as far as possible; and
- the Senior Phase in Secondary Schools (S4-6) will be treated as a group, whilst minimising contact as far as possible
The school will liaise with parents directly and will be based on the individual circulates as per any absence from school.
Incidents of confirmed cases are led by NHS Lothian Public Health. This decision rests with the Public Health Consultant responsible for each case and the decision would be based on the individual circumstances.
Only people who are symptomatic need a test unless they are explicitly asked to get a test by public health as part of the management of an outbreak.
The symptoms are the onset of a persistent cough, or a temperature/fever or a loss of taste or smell. Only one of these is required for a test to be arranged. This can be done by visiting the NHS Inform website. You do not need to call NHS 24 to organise a test.
For more information please visit the NHS Inform website or for non-clinical advice call the helpline 0800 028 2816.