Shetland council announces closures of some schools and childcare services

Shetland Islands Council has announced it will be closing some of its schools and childcare services to children and young people.

Shetland council said it was not as a direct result of coronavirus.
Shetland council said it was not as a direct result of coronavirus.

Beginning from Monday 16 March and running to Friday 20 March 2020, select schools and child care settings will only be open to staff.

Only Fair Isle Primary School, Fetlar Primary School and Foula Primary School will remain open for children and young people.

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A spokesperson said the action is not being taken for public health reasons but for operational and resilience reasons, and reflects “Shetland’s unique island setting”.

They added that Children’s Services will be issuing further information to parents and carers at the start of next week, which will include information about learning that can be done at home, and electronic communication between children and schools during the closure period.

There will also be follow-up communication from schools for parents and carers of children with complex additional support needs early next week.

Helen Budge, director of Children’s Services said: “During this COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken this decision, not specifically for public health, but for operational and resilience reasons. We are already seeing significant levels of pupil and staff absence.

“We realise that this will have an impact on working parents and carers but hope that they will understand and support this decision”

Ms Budge added that the implications for young people in the Senior Phase with forthcoming SQA assessments and examinations are being considered carefully, and that further information around this will follow at the start of next week.

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