COVID-19 support & information

“During this very challenging time for everyone, education officers, headteachers, teachers and staff who support the school communities are working together to support families and their children, while schools are closed.

Carolyn MacLeod, National Transitions Officer

Remember, while UK announcements provide guidance for the entire country, there are some decisions that pertain specifically to Scotland. Education and Training, and Health and Social Services (as well as Housing, Environment, Transport, Welfare, Law and Order) are devolved matters and are subject to decisions made in Scotland.  

This page provides information that may be of interest to Armed Forces parents, guardians, carers and their children, as well as teachers, schools, local authorities and support professionals.

The situation in each local authority (Council) area will be different, for example in relation to the education of the children of key workers. Councils will publish information on their individual websites. Some may allow you to set up automatic email updates. Others are issuing information through social media. It is therefore recommended that you regularly consult your Council’s website for the latest updates on services and the support available to you.

Armed Forces families have often been required to face challenges and changes in their lives; to live with unknowns and, at times, few choices. Perhaps such a wealth of experiences may help when dealing with some of the difficulties, pressures, and restrictions of our current Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown.

Forces families also have access to a network of support from the MOD and associated charities (including family federations) and through the Armed Forces community.

If you have any suggestions on further details to include on this information page, please use the form below to contact us.

Carolyn MacLeod,
National Transitions Officer (Email Carolyn, info@forceschildrenseducation.org.uk)


Coronavirus in Scotland: What’s your council’s plan for opening schools?

This BBC Scotland article gives an overview of the plans of Scotland’s 32 councils plans for opening schools.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on re-opening school age childcare services

The First Minister has today, Thursday 30th July 2020, announced that schools in Scotland will reopen on 11th August 2020. 

To support this, guidance has been developed to support a safe return to school for all children, young people and staff taking full account of progress made in suppressing COVID-19 in Scotland, the scientific advice received and the advice of the Education Recovery Group and other key stakeholders.  The guidance can be accessed by clicking here.

 Guidance for parents and carers has also been produced by the National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS) and this can be accessed on the NPFS website by clicking here.

With children and young people returning to school in the coming weeks, the National Parent Forum of Scotland have launched a series of Back to School Webinars running from 5-12th August, to help support learning and the return to school.

Click here for a full list of Webinars.

Please note you will have to register for each individual session that you would like to attend.


Skills Development Scotland Results Helpline

On 4 August 2020, around 138,000 candidates will receive their results by text, post or email. 

This year more than ever, the expert advice and guidance on offer from SDS advisers is needed by students and their families dealing with the cancellation of the exam diet due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts on further education and jobs. 

Providing vital support for young people, their parents and carers, Skills Development Scotland’s Results Helpline will begin on Tuesday 4 August and run to Wednesday 12 August.

Skills Development Scotland’s Results Helpline: 0808 100 8000


There are many dedicated websites providing key and current information, including signposting to organisations and resources relevant to supporting Armed Forces children during the Coronavirus pandemic, such as:

  • Education information
  • Supporting your child’s learning at home
  • Partners and Armed Forces organisations support 
  • Mental health and wellbeing support
  • ADES has created guides for Letting your School Know, for Primary and Secondary.

ADES officials and members are working with the Scottish Government, Education Scotland, COSLA, SQA and other key stakeholders to minimise disruption. Topics of focus and discussion, among others, cover:

  • SQA processes and procedures, read more (PDF Download)
  • Support for the children of key workers
  • Operational issues related to staffing (hubs and activity centres – remaining open)
  • Review of policy, duties and legislation
  • Awareness of transitions process issues.

Significant efforts are being made to ensure arrangements are put in place for the vulnerable.


General advice from the Scottish Government

Get up to date on the coronavirus situation in Scotland on the official Scottish Government website.

Health advice (Scotland)

To get the latest health advice and guidance for Scotland visit NHS Inform.

Guidance for education providers

Health Protection Scotland, in partnership with a range of other stakeholders, has produced a number of educational resources to support the Covid-19 response which can be found on their website. 

For Educators of Armed Forces Children: The link below is a practice exemplar with overviews of case studies related to supporting children from Armed Forces families. 

This will be relevant to educational practitioners from early years through to senior phase as well as local authority and children’s services staff. education.gov.scot…/armed-forces-families

Education and children

It can be a difficult time for children and young people, particularly with the loss of school and spending time with friends and extended family. There are countless resources available online and we have collated a few helpful links below:

  • Parent Club has lots of information to support families
  • Education Scotland features support for practitioners, local authorities, children and young people at this time
  • Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) and Forces Childrens’ Education has created a special comic and set of characters to help children during their transition to the Scottish education system. Read the comic online.
  • The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has released this information for Learners, download PDF.
  • The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has also released this information for Parents, download PDF.
  • Visit our education resources list for more.

Support

The Royal Caledonian Education Trust, Scotland’s Armed Forces Children’s Charity, has run a Crisis Fund since 2018 supporting families who are struggling either financially or emotionally to make ends meet. Many more families will be put under pressure by the disruption and uncertainty Covid-19 is causing for both families and services.

Find out about the support available from RCET.

NHS Lothian has created a guide for its Veterans First Point (V1P) users during the crisis. Download the guide.

MOD guidance for Forces families

The Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) supports operational effectiveness through the provision of educational support to service and eligible MOD civilian families.

Due to the impact of Covid-19, the CEAS team is available by email DCYP-CEAS-Enquiries@mod.gov.uk

Further guidance

The Directorate Children and Young People (DCYP) includes advice and updates for Armed Forces parents.