11 January
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All of West Lothian's schools opened last week for pupils of key workers and vulnerable children.

From today, over 27,000 pupils returned to school, albeit learning is being delivered online for the vast majority.

Elaine Cook, Depute Chief Executive of West Lothian Council said: "Firstly, I'd like to thank parents, pupils and staff for their continued patience, hard work and understanding in getting us to this point. We know it is not easy and we absolutely understand the challenges that pupils, staff and parents face during these times. Some overcome these types of changes very well and others need some extra support, but we are fully focussed on providing our pupils with the best possible teaching and learning. We can assure all parents of that.

" Learning will take place in a number of ways, including live classes and recorded lessons. Individual education staff will decide the most appropriate method of delivery within each school and that will depended on a number of circumstances.

"We learned a lot following the first period of lockdown last year and our teams have done a huge amount of work to ensure that pupils and staff were prepared for the return of schools."

Executive councillor for Education, David Dodds said: "Schools are on hand to help support parents and pupils, as always.

"I'm a parent, grandparent and a retired teacher myself and I know what a challenging time this is for everyone. Many are trying to balance home working whilst helping the children with home learning, and it is not easy.

"I hope everyone remembers that you can only do your best and please contact your school if you need any help."

He added:

"West Lothian schools have provided thousands of digital devices to support learning at home for all families who have a requirement and asked for assistance. Many others have also been provided with 4G routers, in circumstances where connectivity is an issue.   

"West Lothian will continue to support children to access learning from home and will be responsive to changing family circumstances. It will be our priority to ensure no pupil is disadvantaged in their ability to access high quality learning experiences, whether these experiences take place in the home or school.

"We wrote to parents last week and advised that if anyone needs a device for online learning, now or in the future, one is available for them and they should contact their school direct."