Grants available

School Clothing Grants 👪

The Highland Council will provide support towards the costs of school clothing to many families. This will help children from primary 1 to secondary schools in Highland to be better equipped to attend school, focus on their education and fully participate in school life whilst easing the financial pressures for parents and carers.

Applications are now being invited by The Highland Council for the academic year starting in August 2020. Assistance with school clothing can be claimed if parents and carers are receiving any one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit (where the monthly earned income does not exceed £610).
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Any income related element of Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit, but not in receipt of Working Tax Credit, and your income is less than £16,105 (as assessed by the HMRC)
  • Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit and an income below £6,420 (as assessed by the HMRC)
  • If a young person is 16 to 18 years old and receive any of these benefits in their own right, then they can claim for themselves.
  • An asylum seeker receiving support
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit

To streamline the application process, the Council has a single application form for school clothing grants and free school meals.  Applications can be made online at

www.highland.gov.uk/schoolmealsandclothinggrants.

 

Best Start Grant School Age Payment 👪

The Best Start School Age Payment is a lump sum of £250 which is intended to help with the cost of a child starting school in August 2020. It is in addition to the school clothing grant and does not need to be paid back.

From 1 June 2020 until 28 February 2021 applications are invited by Social Security Scotland for children born between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2016 who are starting school in August 2020. Parents who have deferred their child’s school entry to August 2021 should still apply during this period. If they don’t it will be too late, and they will miss out on their payment.

Best Start Grant School Age Payment can be claimed if parents and carers are receiving any one of the following (If you’re under 18, you do not need to be on any payments or benefits to apply:

●         Universal Credit ●         Housing Benefit
●         Child Tax Credit ●         Income Support
●         Working Tax Credit ●         Pension Credit
●         Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
●         Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Parents or carers can apply via Social Security Scotland freephone helpline on 0800 182 2222, by post or online at www.mygov.scot/best-start-grant

Don’t miss out, find out.

Getting in touch with the Welfare Support Team is the first step to maximising your potential income. For help to apply for all benefits or entitlements contact the Welfare Support Team: telephone 0800 090 1004 or email welfare.support@highland.gov.uk

Alternatively, contact Citizens Advice for general information or for details of the customers local office they can visit:  www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/benefits

Full support is available to support parents and carers through the council’s Welfare Support Team and Highland CABx to ensure households are receiving all their benefits and entitlements – ever more important in these challenging times.  Advice is freely available to help families with applying for the Clothing Grant and the Best Start Grant.

 

Highland Council Update

 

28 May 2020

 

For immediate release

 

Back to school and learning – ‘carefully and gradually’

 

The Highland Council is assessing the implications of the First Minister’s announcements made on the 21st May about the first stage relaxation of lockdown, concerning teachers and other education staff returning to the workplace during June to prepare for the return to school and settings on 11th August.

Highland Council’s Education Committee Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: “The return to workplace and Highland schools for our Education staff will have to be undertaken carefully and gradually.

“I understand the desire for parents and pupils to know what plans and preparations will be put in place to enable the start of term on 11th August; and that is exactly what our Education staff will be working on in the coming weeks.

“While I understand parental and pupil anxieties, especially for those starting at school – at this stage and ahead of formal engagement with local head teachers, parent forums and communities it is too early for the Council to provide any finalised plans or proposals on what the return to school will look like for Highland families. It is important that the local circumstances of each school will need to be considered along with consultations with key stakeholders. As soon as that information is available schools and the Council will promote this widely.”

Paul Senior, Executive Chief Officer Education & Learning added:

“There is a huge amount of preparation underway to return schools and our education settings in line with government guidelines. Before teaching and education staff can return to school, there are a number of measures we will be deploying to ensure that the views of Highland’s head teachers, parents, carers and communities inform our plans.

“These will include rigorous risk assessments that will need to be carried out, to ensure that safe distance working practices and other risk prevention measures can be adhered, to that will enable staff to return to the workplace safely in environments that are as safe as possible to minimise the potential for risk.

“Then, as soon as jointly agreed, risk assessed back-to-school plans are in place, the Council along with our schools and settings will provide information to parents, carers and pupils on what the new normal will be like.”

Pupils and parents should keep an eye on the news page of the Council’s website at: www.highland.gov.uk/news/archive; and the Council’s Twitter  https://twitter.com/HighlandCouncil or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/highlandcouncil/ for updates on back-to-school information.

-ends-

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.

ends