Council offers reassurance transitions for young people will be a priority

As we look forward to a 'new normal', many parents and young people across Aberdeenshire may be wondering what this means for those transitioning into Primary 1, S1 or leaving school to their onward journey into employment and/or further training.

Aberdeenshire Council's Director of Education and Children's Services, Laurence Findlay is keen to underline those who fall into these groups are a priority in terms of forward planning, and schools and services across the local area will make arrangements to ensure needs are met in the best way possible.

Laurence said: "While we find ourselves in exceptional circumstances, we're keen to reassure parents and carers, and young people, that we will provide further information as soon as we can, as the national picture becomes clearer in terms of what the school year for 2020/21 may look like.

"Transitions will be a priority and we are already considering our options for these groups. Head Teachers alongside their school communities will be able to ensure what is delivered is tailored to local circumstances, and trying their best to meet the needs of all of our children and young people."

This is likely to mean that when schools do begin to reopen, inviting those in who are making these important transitions may come first.

Chair of the Council's Education and Children's Services Committee, Cllr Gillian Owen, who leads elected members' involvement in steering services for children and young people locally, added: "Safety comes first. When we know what might be possible and when, planning will be guided by public health advice and the health and wellbeing of our children and young people, as well as our staff, will come first."

Vice Chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: "We hope this offers some reassurance to families. While the circumstances we find ourselves in are by no means ideal, and we are keen to support parents' return to work, plans must be guided by national as well as regional expert advice, and we will provide more detail as soon as we can."