Parents Updated Today On Next Phase Of Highland Pupils Return
9th March 2021
A letter has been distributed today to update parents and carers on the next phase of the re-opening of schools in Highland. The Scottish Government announced last week that more pupils are to return to school (external link) from Monday 15 March.
A large amount of work has been ongoing in educational settings across Highland to prepare for the increase in numbers as more pupils are eligible to return to in-school learning.
Chair of the Education Committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: "It is encouraging that we are able to progress with the safe and careful return of more of our pupils. We have updated parents and carers today on our authority wide position on the next phase of Highland's re-opening of schools."
The implementation of the next phase of school's return is being led by individual schools in order to provide flexibility and to support the individual circumstances of each setting.
Cllr Finlayson added: "Your school will be in touch directly over the next couple of days with local arrangements and detailed information on their plans for Monday. These will take into consideration the number of pupils based on accommodation, safety, transport and other relevant judgements that support the national guidelines prior to their safe return next week.
“I am looking forward to seeing a full return of all of our pupils when we receive confirmation from the Scottish Government that it is safe to do so."
The letter confirms the Council’s position on Primary, Secondary and Special Schools return. This also includes the authority-wide position on transport, schools meals and clinically vulnerable children and young people.
A copy of the letter is available on The Highland Council’s website.
Members at today's full meeting of Highland Council agreed a motion from the Leader and Chair of Corporate Resources, which would call for a fairer share of income derived from the development of the region’s natural resources to establish a Highland Renewable Fund. In the motion Highland Council Leader, Cllr Margaret Davidson, highlighted that at a time when private energy companies are making huge profits from the abundance of natural resources of wind and water in the Highlands the region’s roads were suffering.
At the Highland Council Gaelic committee to beheld on 18th May 2021 the committee will be asked to agree that the National Mòd for Inverness in 2021 should be given a further £80,000. The council has an agreement to pay £40,000 annually that aids the Mod to come to Highland every three years.
Anja Johnston from Thurso will take up the role of Highland Youth Convener early in May 2021 This full-time role is a bursary position that will run for 12 months. The 24-year-old, has previously worked as an Assistant Youth Worker, delivering the YOJO digital youth project with High Life Highland.
Since the launch of the Highland Employment Recruitment Offer (HERO) in March 2021, there has been a positive uptake of the grant scheme across Highland as 157 applications have been approved in principle, with 73 recruited/currently being recruited. HERO is funded by The Highland Council and the Scottish Government under the No One Left Behind and Young Person's Guarantee Funding Streams.
Members of the Highland Council's Economy and Infrastructure Committee have agreed to allocate up to £200k of the Council's Cycling, Walking and Safer Routes 2021/22 grant award to the delivery of a new Council 20mph programme, and 10% of this annual budget is to be used in future years. The introduction of more 20 mph speed limits on Highland roads will help the Council to meet the challenging road casualty reduction targets set out in the new Scottish Road Safety Framework launched in February this year.
With the majority of businesses re-opening this week, Highland Council's Environmental Health team with assistance from Police Scotland will be undertaking joint visits to premises throughout the Highlands. The visits aim to help raise public confidence that businesses are doing all they can to protect public safety as the lockdown restrictions are eased.
A bid to fund the design and delivery of over £55 Million of transport infrastructure in Highland was submitted to Transport Scotland today. A partnership including The Highland Council, bus operators and other stakeholders has put together a package of measures to prioritise buses in congested parts of the network.
The Highland Council is inviting people to follow them on YouTube so that the local authority can broadcast live the Highland constituencies and the Highland and Islands Regional results. Please follow (subscribe to) Highland Council's YouTube at: www.youtube.com/user/TheHighlandCouncil (external link) Constituency and Regional Returning Officer, Donna Manson explained: "Due to COVID-19 restrictions and the need to provide a safe election we are facing new challenges and opportunities in delivering the Scottish Parliamentary Election count and declaration of results.
The Highland Council's Tourism Committee has approved a final draft Visitor Management Plan for 2021 yesterday (Wednesday 21 April) which aims to assist communities and the public during the anticipated busy summer months. Chair of the Tourism Committee, Cllr Gordon Adam said: "Welcoming visitors back to the Highlands from Monday 26 April is a positive sign that the road to recovery can finally commence.
Twelve successful projects have been awarded a share of £409,652 Highland Coastal Communities Fund (HCCF) yesterday (Thursday 22 April 2021) by The Highland Council's Caithness Committee. £98,803 was agreed to be invested in moving forward an economic development project that will benefit the whole of Caithness, with a view to securing match funding for local partners.