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Noss Primary School and Miller Academy among key worker hubs

By Alan Hendry

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Noss Primary School in Wick and Miller Academy in Thurso are among a number of centres set up for the children of key workers in the Highland Council area.

Anyone who has applied for a place at one of the key worker hubs will be contacted by the end of today (Wednesday) with confirmation of the arrangements that have been put in place.

The centres are to be hosted at Millburn Academy, Inverness Royal Academy, Dingwall Academy, Portree High School, Lochaber High School, Ullapool Academy and Golspie High School as well as Noss and Miller Academy.

These centres will be staffed by volunteers drawn from council staff, all of whom will have been checked to ensure that they are enrolled in the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme.

The council highlighted the following points:

"Please be aware that the number of places we will be able to offer in the Highland Council area is limited and so not everyone who has requested a place will get one. We need to prioritise for those directly involved in addressing the health crisis linked with Covid-19 and others involved in the associated emergency response. However, we will be working hard to increase capacity over the coming days and weeks.

"Requesting a place in a hub should be a choice of last resort. You should only request a place when you have exhausted all other possible means of providing childcare for your child(ren) while you are at work. The Scottish Government has issued public health advice about this and expects parents/carers to have explored all other options, such as using partners who are not key workers, using older children to supervise younger children, seeking changed shift patterns to avoid the need for childcare and so on.

"Children of key workers in age groups 0-5 will be placed in nursery settings and, wherever possible, will remain with their existing childcare providers.

"The hubs will not replicate a school setting. Children will be expected to bring in the work and materials that have been allocated to them through their own school and they will be supervised while they work though these. Where practical and safe, age-appropriate activities will also be arranged.Social distancing and health and hygiene practices will be in place – albeit in recognition that with young, energetic, children this will be a challenge to maintain at all times.

"It remains the case that home is the safest place for everyone, including children."

The most recent government information on key workers can be found here.

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