Update from Highland Council

21 May 2020


For immediate release


Highland Council prepares for phased return to new normal


Highland Council’s Recovery Board Chair, Cllr Alasdair Christie has welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s road map phasing the way out of lockdown, which was published earlier today.

The First Minister revealed that Phase 1 of the Government’s new four phase plan, could come into effect on 28 May, however the advice remains stay home, protect the NHS and save lives for now.

Cllr Alasdair Christie, Chair of the Highland Council’s Recovery Board, said: “Highland Council is assessing and planning for all the implications of the First Minister’s announcements made today about the first stage relaxation of lockdown, including her statement on teachers and other staff returning during June to prepare for the return to school in August.

“The Recovery Board has already begun developing our own Highland Council route map which is focusing on how we prepare for a safe return to work, return to school and restarting key services, such as reopening recycling centres at the start of June.

“Today’s announcement will I am sure be welcomed by communities here in Highland, who have been adhering to the lockdown measures and ensuring they help protect the NHS and save lives.

“However, we are also acutely aware of the impact the lockdown has had on our economy and on every aspect of people’s lives and mental health.

“We are working hard to map out the best way forward for Highland, so that we can start to get people back to work and school, but to ensure this is done safely and in line with science and the Scottish Government’s guidance.”

He added: “Since the outbreak we have learned a lot of lessons and we’ve seen a tremendous demonstration of agility, innovation and hard work from staff across the organisation. I am delighted to say that as a result of everyone’s hard work and commitment we are now in a position to pave the way forward and start getting back to what will be a new normal for all of us.”

Schools will return on 11 August, one week earlier than planned for most pupils, while Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings will open over the summer.

An agreement reached between councils, professional associations and parent representatives means:

  • schools will implement physical distancing measures, such as providing seating that is two metres apart and staggering arrival, departure and break times
  • increased hand-washing or use of hand sanitisers, enhanced cleaning, robust protocols and ongoing risk assessments
  • class sizes will be significantly reduced as a result of the new way of working, with most pupils spending around half their time in class and half learning at home. Time in school will increase further as soon as it is safe to do so
  • teachers and other education staff will return in June – subject to appropriate safety assessments being completed – to prepare and plan for the new way of working and welcoming pupils back
  • existing ‘hubs’ will continue to run to provide vulnerable children and those of key workers with childcare over the summer
  • the school estate will be expanded where necessary and possible to increase the time children can spend with their teachers
  • innovative use will be made of existing teachers and staff

The Scottish Government road map can be found here

********Exciting News Alert**********


Hilton children will be one of the first schools in Inverness to trial the “Wake up and Shake” online classes for Primary pupils, live from Inverness Leisure Centre, by Amy Gallagher, who has presented classes for us at Hilton before.

What do you need to do to join in?
Tomorrow, log in to your google classroom (or the ELC closed facebook page if your child is in nursery).
Click on the link that will appear in the feed to join just before the start time.

This is an exciting opportunity for our Hilton children, so please get up nice and early and be ready to boogie.

Starts 9.30 am tomorrow,Wednesday 13th May. Please be online ready to click on the link as it appears so that you don’t miss out.

Mrs Reid

Exciting News!

Google Meet

From next week the children will have the opportunity to meet online with their class teacher and the rest of their class once per week.  Please note that next week, this is only for P2-7.  Also, as there is a holiday next Friday, we have slightly different days for some classes.  We will let you know the dates and times each week.

Class Teachers will post in their google classrooms instructions for how to access this meet so please have a look.  They will also post expectations for pupils- please have a look over these with your child so that the meet up runs smoothly.

Have a look below and get the date and time in your diaries! Hilton Staff look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday 5th May

11.00 am- P3M

Wednesday 6th May

11.00 am- P2L/B   and P3M/W

11.30 am- P5BM and P6S/W

Thursday 7th May

10.30 am P2M

11.00 am P4F  and P4W/R

2.00 pm  P7J and P7W

2.30 pm  P5/6R 

Friday 8th May – May Day Holiday.   Hilton Primary School is closed (the online version too!)

Free School Meals


27 March 2020


For immediate release


Highland Council to launch e-vouchers for free school meals


Highland Council will be providing e-vouchers to families to support access to free school meals from week commencing 30 March 2020.

This innovative and easy-to-use service will ensure over 4,000 school children will continue to receive support for school meals while schools are closed. For the majority of pupils, this will be delivered digitally through e-vouchers for food in local supermarkets.

Enabling choice will provide flexibility and also help to reduce waste, as food can be purchased according to need or preference in the household. Some restrictions do apply as the e-vouchers cannot be used to purchase age restricted products such as tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets and fuel.

The impact of Coronavirus has caused many vulnerable families additional hardship and this process will ensure that the most vulnerable children can get food.

Highland Council continues to investigate other ways of providing food across the Highlands for vulnerable groups within the rapidly changing environment. This includes working closely with High Life Highland, Eden Court and our many partners including the Third Sector. Further information will be provided in due course.

Cllr John Finlayson, Chair of the Education Committee, said: “The provision of school meals is a priority service that we are committed to delivering including during when schools are closed in the current times. I applaud the Highland Council staff who are working hard to implement this service as quickly as possible and for e-vouchers to be issued next week”.

A helpline number has been set up for anyone who is struggling and needing urgent help during this crisis. The single line number – 0300 303 1362 – will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. All calls are free.



Free- School Meals Cancelled from today

23 March 2020


For immediate release


Council responds to Government lockdown


In light of the UK and Scottish Government’s decision tonight to begin a three-week lockdown in order to delay the spread of the Coronavirus, the Highland Council has taken the decision to cancel the provision of school meals tomorrow. The current format of provision would involve staff and children gathering at school premises and this would go against national advice and directives.

The Council’s Strategic Group will consider the announcement first thing tomorrow morning and the implications this will have for the delivery of essential services and the provision of welfare and humanitarian aid in a way that complies with the Government’s directive and protects life and our NHS services.

More information will be issued once this important step has been discussed with our Local and Regional Resilience Partners.


Important Information

Hilton Primary will be open on Monday 23rd March from 1.30 to 2.30 for collection of any medication or school work needed for working from home.

The Inverness Royal Academy will be open daily from 11.00 to 2.00 next week for children eligible for Grab and Go Free School Meals.