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Highland Council Inverness City Committee discusses preparations to welcome pupils back to school

By Gregor White

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Schools including Inverness Royal Academy are due to reopen for staff and pupils next month.
Schools including Inverness Royal Academy are due to reopen for staff and pupils next month.

Councillors have discussed plans to prepare for the return of pupils and staff to Inverness schools in August.

After a meeting of Highland Council's city committee yesterday Provost Helen Carmichael said: "A huge amount of complex work has been undertaken by all education officials and our school staff to adapt and prepare to welcome pupils back to school on August 12.

"Their response since March has been exceptional and I sincerely thank them for all their effort and hard work.

"The committee received assurance about communication with parents and had a commitment from officers that they will include councillors in the circulation of any letters to parents and that individual schools will be asked to keep local councillors informed of their plans."

The council’s programme management office (PMO) has worked through the summer to help prepare schools for a full return of pupils and staff.

The PMO, comprised of 11 sub-groups, consists of a range of local area partners, stakeholders and providers, who meet weekly to develop operational plans and risk assessments.

A selection of sub-groups are focused on key services on the return to education such as transport, early learning and childcare and catering.

In the coming weeks, sub-group chairs will meet with executive board members from the Highland Parent Council Partnership to give them a deeper understanding of the back to school plans as well as an opportunity to provide feedback.

The council's head of education, Nicky Grant, said: "As we approach the beginning of August, our communication on our return to school plans with our stakeholders will be imperative.

"We will continue to engage with our partners and communities across the region to ensure our schools are a safe environment for our pupils and staff when they return after their summer break."

New information and guidance on the the return to school will be provided on the council's dedicated back to school page.

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