Guidance for parents aims to ‘provide best start for young people across Highland'
5th December 2019
New guidance for parents and carers who wish to apply for deferred or early entry to Highland schools for their children has been approved (subject to some additional conditions agreed) by Members of The Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee.
The guidance is helping to deliver the Council's Programme priority to ‘expand early years provision and provide the best start for young people across Highland’.
The document, ‘Guidance on being educated out-with the peer group including deferred and early entry to school’ will now be adopted by the Council’s Education Service.
Parents and carers who wish to apply for deferred entry, or early entry of their child (or children) to a school in Highland will be directed to the new guidance for their information and direction on the processes required for application.
Nicky Grant, Interim Head of Education said:"Parents are best placed to know their young children’s needs and capabilities and we will work with them using the guidance to support them in their decisions.
"The guidance details an agreed process for parents and staff to follow when consideration is being given to a pupil being educated outwith their peer group.
“Applications for deferred or early entry to school can sometimes be complex and contentious and the agreed guidance will help direct all those involved in young people’s education in the region."
The first meeting of The Highland Council's new Housing and Property Committee will take place on Wednesday 29 January following a decision by members in December to approve the establishment of a new strategic committee structure. The first item on the agenda for members will be to confirm the role and remit of this newly established committee which will be chaired by Lochaber Councillor, Ben Thompson.
Highland councillors will be asked a the meeting on 29th January 2020 of the newly created Housing and Property committee to agree to increase council house rents by 3% for 2021. This would result in an increase in the average weekly council house rent from £75.38 to £77.64 (£2.26 per week).
Highland Council must make significant savings and change the way it delivers services to ensure it can live within its financial means. A report by the Accounts Commission, Scotland's local authority watchdog, says in recent years the council has had a poor record of delivering on savings.
Storm Brendan has taken its toll on roads and infrastructure across the Highlands. Localised flooding, wind and ice has caused damage to roads, paths, car parks and walls in numerous areas including Applecross, Lochaber and Caithness and Sutherland.
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) has launched a campaign to persuade the Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP to invest in Scotland's councils before it is too late. COSLA has produced a briefing document Invest in Essential Services which clearly shows the reduction to Local Government funding since 2013/14 and how the flexibility councils have to spend their budget has been eroded by the Scottish Government.
Local authorities are to be given new powers to regulate short-term lets where they decide this is in the interests of local communities. Housing Minister Kevin Stewart announced measures in the Scottish Parliament to provide local authorities with the ability to implement a licensing scheme for short-term lets from spring 2021.
Big-hearted Highland Council staff and members have dug deep into their pockets at an already expensive time of year to help two important charities in the region. Staff at Highland Council headquarters have been fundraising for the Highland Hospice through a charity raffle, coffee morning and staff pantomime.
The Highland Council is reminding householders and businesses to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible over the festive period to prevent unnecessary waste. Christmas is often a time of excess waste, particularly when it comes to food.
The Highland Council notifies its service users and customers of its opening hours and service arrangements over the festive period. The Highland Council Service Centre will close at 4pm on 24 December 2019.
Highland Council will be testing the market by contacting prospective contractors (scheduled to be sent out 6th January 2020) to give notice that a procurement for the Corran ferry service may be coming forward. A questionnaire will seek the views of suppliers and potential suppliers of ferry services to the Council.
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