Latest school updates


Schools update Tuesday 23 June 2020, 17:00

Today's announcement from the Scottish Government outlines the plan to reopen all schools on a full time basis from August.

We are currently considering the practicalities and implications of this announcement and will await further clarification and guidance from government, particularly in relation to public health and scientific advice.

Our priority is the safety of our pupils and staff across our network of primary, secondary and ASN schools, as well as our early learning and childcare settings.

We understand that you will have questions, and as this news was only announced today, we will make further information available on how this impacts on our schools and facilities in the coming days.

We are preparing for pupils to return full-time to school on 12 August and we will be working closely with our schools and partners, including our early years and childcare provision to establish our plans, which we will communicate as soon as we are in a position to.

Summer free school meal vouchers (posted Wednesday 17 June 2020)

The families of around 8,000 children in North Lanarkshire who are eligible for free school meals will receive weekly vouchers of £15 per child over the summer holidays, as Councillor Frank McNally, Convener of Education and Families explains in this short video.

This brand new arrangement is fully in line with the funding provided to councils from the Scottish Government to support families on low incomes with the cost of lunches over the summer break.

In March this year, as part of our commitment to supporting families throughout the pandemic we chose to continue to provide food vouchers to all P1 to P3 pupils who are automatically entitled for free school meals, when other councils did not. This arrangement will finish at the end of the school term on Wednesday 24 June as planned. The new offer to those eligible will start immediately after the school term finishes, in line with the funding available from the Scottish Government for the summer.

The new summer holiday voucher scheme provides targeted support for low income families in receipt of benefits; helping the most vulnerable children in our communities.

In addition, free packed lunches will be available to primary pupils through our ground-breaking Club365 programme from our summer hubs.

If your financial circumstances have changed and you require to apply for Free Meal Entitlement please contact

If your personal circumstances have changed recently then please contact our Financial Inclusion Team who can help with debt advice, council tax relief and income maximisation.

Tel: 01698 332551 or email:

Letter to parents - 19 June 2020

Letter to parents 19 June - page 1

Letter to parents 19 June - page 2

For further information on schools returning in August please read our pdf icon Frequently Asked Questions [706kb].

Update 8 June 2020

We're working on plans to make schools as safe as possible for our children and young people when they return in August. Take a look at this video so you know the principles that we are working to.

Understandably you will have lots of other questions on issues that we're still working on. Please bear with us and we will make more announcements as soon as we can.

Please note that this video has been updated to show that the timetable is an illustrative example and your school will contact you when timetables are finalised.

Letter to parents - 8 June 2020 

Letter to parents - 8 June 2020 - page 1

Letter to parents - 8 June 2020 - page 2

Schools update - 27 May 2020

Councillor Frank McNally, Convener of Education and Families and Derek Brown, Executive Director of Education and Families, have written to all parents and carers to outline our plans for children and young people to return to schools and early learning and childcare settings after the summer break.

Letter to parents page 1

Letter to parents page 2





SQA certification in August 2020

SQA have been releasing updated advice to schools and colleges over the past week, explaining how it intends to certificate all qualifications by 4 August 2020 and the subsequent appeals process that will be available. This included updated guidance to schools on the procedures they should adopt for providing estimates to the SQA on pupil performance for session 2019/20. SQA has also updated their frequently asked questions sections for schools, colleges, employers and parents.

Teaching staff , who know your children best as learners, are working hard to bring together and carefully review all the evidence that has been gathered throughout the course to give your child the fairest and most accurate estimate of their potential performance. This evidence will be subject to rigorous quality assurance processes within the school prior to submission to the SQA.

Thereafter, the estimates provided by the school to SQA will be subject to SQA processes to ensure that attainment and achievement for all of our young people is rightly recognised.

For this reason, schools are unable to issue estimates to learners and parents at this time.

This work is a key priority for all teachers in our secondary schools, and they will be supported wherever possible by officers of the council. We would like to provide reassurance that our schools will do their utmost to ensure this process is as smooth as possible. We appreciate the support and understanding of our young people and parents and carers. 

For full details please go to

Thursday 23 April 2020

Free School Meals update

More than 17,700 families have been sent weekly vouchers via SMS (from CASHOUT) for free school meals. The majority of families will receive their voucher by text this week.

Our team is working hard to update the phone details of people with new mobile numbers. While we do that, we will send paper vouchers to the small number of families whose details are currently being updated. Please don't worry if you still haven't received a voucher as we are processing these on an ongoing basis.  

If you have not received anything by text or post by Monday 27 April, please email the team on with the following details:

  • Child's name/children's names:
  • Date(s) of birth:
  • School Attended:
  • Home Address:
  • Mobile Phone Number:

Monday 20 April 2020

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has announced details of the emergency arrangements it will put in place for students whose exams have been cancelled.

Grades for qualifications including Highers and National 5s will be based on estimates by teachers.

The SQA has sent details of their plans to schools and teachers. Their focus is on three broad principles, while adapting to the current challenges we all face:

  • Fairness to all learners;
  • Safe and secure certification of our qualifications, while following the latest public health advice; and 
  • Maintaining the integrity and credibility of our qualifications system, ensuring that standards are maintained over time, in the interests of learners.

For more information visit: 

We have put in place a system to make sure your child or children get their free school meal entitlement during the coronavirus emergency.

From Monday 6 April, you will now receive one £20 voucher once per week for each eligible child. This will come to you by text, email or by post. How you get your voucher depends on the contact details we have for you.

* If you have not yet received your weekly voucher, it may be because we don't have your up to date telephone/mobile phone details. Please email us at with your current telephone number and we will call you as soon as we can to resolve the issue.

You can take this voucher to any shop which has Paypoint. You can find your nearest Paypoint shops on their website at

Here's how it works:

  1. Go to a Paypoint shop near you.
  2. Select your food and take it the counter. You then exchange your voucher for cash.
  3. You must spend it in the shop where you exchange your voucher.

You must spend your cash in the shop where you exchange your voucher for two reasons:

  • Firstly you must not make any unnecessary journeys to comply with government guidance.
  • Secondly you will be supporting your local business.

We monitor the Paypoint system to ensure that vouchers are being used. Almost everyone in North Lanarkshire is already following these rules. Please follow the rules above to ensure that you aren't increasing the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Some shops might refuse to take the voucher and usually this is because people are not spending the voucher in their shop so they are running out of money. If this happens you should go to your next nearest Paypoint shop.

The message will be sent either as a text message to your mobile phone, by email or as a printed copy if you don't have internet access.

Funding for the additional element of this provision has come from the £3m emergency fund, which has been set up by the council to deal with the health crisis.

Please email if you require any further information regarding free school meals.

We are aware of fraudulent emails circulating asking for bank details of those with children entitled to free school meals.

Please be aware that we do not require your bank details.

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