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Highland Council officially confirms schools across the region will close at the end of the day tomorrow


By Scott Maclennan


Highland Council: Briefing on Highland Council's response to COVID-19..Donna Manson, Highland Council Chief Executive..Picture: James MacKenzie..
Highland Council: Briefing on Highland Council's response to COVID-19..Donna Manson, Highland Council Chief Executive..Picture: James MacKenzie..

Highland Council has confirmed schools across the region will close at the end of the school day on Friday due to coronavirus.

Yesterday First Minister Nicola Sturgeon signalled mass closure by the weekend in response to the spread of the infection.

And earlier today education secretary John Swinney said school exams have been cancelled for this year.

This afternoon Highland Council chief executive Donna Manson said: “With regards to the week beginning Monday, March 23, I am confident that our education staff across the Highlands are in a position to provide families with an education package for all our children at home during this first week of school closures in these exceptional circumstances.

“Any parent or carer enquiries should be directed to schools on Friday, March 20.

From Monday, March 23 Highland Council Education Helpline details will be communicated publicly in helping parents and carers with enquiries.

“Schools have been in contact with parents and the council has set up access to online resources via the educational improvement team on our website.”

She said more work needed to be done to assess the implications of the government’s requirements in terms of the provision of learning and care for the children of "key worker" groups and provision of food, care, support and protection to vulnerable children.

Mr Swinney also announced today that free school meals will continue to be provided after schools close.

"It is hoped that these arrangements will be in place from Friday, March 27," she said.

“Further information will be communicated as the council engages with a range of partners to ensure that we support the Highland effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus and the work of the emergency services as set out in the Civil Contingencies Act.

Related articles: No exams for Scottish pupils this year in wake of coronavirus Scottish Government confirms

Free school meals to continue for pupils in Scotland after schools shut down in face of coronavirus crisis



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