ARGYLL AND BUTE READY TO GO BACK IN AUGUST

Argyll and Bute’s Yvonne McNeilly and John Swinney, Education Secretary.

By Democrat reporter

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education has issued a message of thanks to pupils, staff and parents as the school year comes to an end today (Friday).

Councillor Yvonne McNeilly said: “As we come to the end of the school year, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our staff, pupils and parents for all their hard work, commitment and understanding over the last few months.

“Lockdown is something that none of us could have prepared for and, hopefully, something that we’ll never have to experience again in our lifetime.

“It’s not been an easy time for anyone, particularly for parents, and I take my hat off to them for the way they’ve managed to home-school their children. Many parents are juggling full time jobs in the process, including a number of our teaching staff, who are parents themselves. I know that many of you have been feeling the pressure of this but I want to assure every single one of you that you’ve been doing a great job – you don’t realise just how fantastic you are.

“We’ve never experienced circumstances like this before, so to be able to quickly adapt to this new way of learning is phenomenal.

“Behind the scenes, our teachers have been working tirelessly too, preparing learning plans for pupils, ensuring they have access to all the resources they need, holding video conferences with pupils, sorting out examination scores with the SQA, arranging virtual transition experiences, the list goes on.

“More recently, they have also been making arrangements for a blended learning approach, should this be required when the schools return in August.

“The Depute First Minister, John Swinney, announced yesterday that schools in Scotland can return full-time after the summer holidays, provided that the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus continues to fall.

“While there will be a number of things to consider, the health and wellbeing of our pupils and staff will remain the council’s number one priority.

“In Argyll and Bute, our education staff have put a huge amount of effort into preparing for a blended learning approach from August in our schools, and we’re ready to use this should the situation change.

“Last, but certainly not least, our children and young people. From our little early years learners, right through to our senior secondary pupils, I have been truly blown away by just how much they have adapted to these new ways of learning.

“They have taken these changes in their stride. Their daily routine has been turned upside down, unable to see their teachers and family, and socialise with their friends. Yet, they continue to just ‘get on with it’. They genuinely are a true credit, not only to their parents but to Argyll and Bute, and I’m very proud of each and every one of them.

“Over the next six weeks I hope that you all take some time out for yourselves to recharge your batteries. No one knows where things will be by the time the schools go back but if the last few months are anything to go by, we’ll cope with whatever life throws at us. We’re all in this together.”


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