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Dear Parents/Carers

Return to School - August 2020

I am pleased to confirm that West Lothian schools and Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings will open full-time in August, following the First Minister's announcement today.

We have been planning to allow pupils to safely return to class full-time in August once this confirmation was received from the Scottish Government.

In accordance with government advice, a phased return of pupils will allow staff time to familiarise our children and young people with the measures necessary to ensure the wellbeing of everyone in the school.

Our phasing plan for remainder of the first week is as follows:


Primary pupils

Secondary pupils

Tuesday 11 August

In-service day - staff only

In-service day - staff only

Wednesday 12 August

P1 (am only),

P2, P3, P4 (Full day)

S1, S2, S3

(Full day)

Thursday 13 August

P1 (am only),

P5, P6, P7(Full day)

S1, S4, S5, S6

(Full day)

Friday 14 August

All pupils

All pupils

Pupils at Beatlie, Cedarbank, Ogilvie and Pinewood schools will follow the same phasing plan as above.

On Wednesday 12 August and Thursday 13 August, pupils who are not in attendance at school will be provided with home learning.

Schools may stagger daily start and finish times to reduce congestion at the school gates, and individual schools will be in touch to confirm local arrangements for this and other services such as breakfast clubs. 

The return to full-time education was conditional on infection rates being sufficiently low to continue to control the virus, public health and testing systems being in place and protective measures and risk assessments being carried out in schools.

West Lothian Council is putting in place the necessary risk assessments and protective measures in each school to allow this to happen. We will be following the Education Recovery Guidance, which has been agreed by the Scottish Government and COSLA based on the latest scientific advice.

A report on the full re-opening will be considered by the Education Executive on Tuesday 4 August. This will be published online by Friday 31 July, and you can access it here.

An update on school transport will be issued shortly.

Once again, I would like to thank you for your patience during this period of uncertainty. 

All of our schools are looking forward to welcoming pupils back, and working in partnership with parents and carers to ensure their wellbeing, and support their learning.

Yours sincerely,


Elaine Cook


Dr. Elaine Cook

Depute Chief Executive
West Lothian Council

School Transport Information

Arrangements for school transport

School transport arrangements are currently being finalised for the new term starting from Wednesday 12 August.

Anyone who is eligible for free school transport and has not yet applied should do so as soon as possible prior to 6 August 2020  at Applications for Free School Transport

Applications should be made for pupils who are going into P1, S1, S5 & S6 to ensure that the pupils have their passes in time for the new school year. 

All other pupils should retain their current passes for use in the 2020/21 school session. 

If a pupil has lost their pass, an application for a replacement should be made as soon as possible prior to 6 August 2020 also using the e-form above.

In line with national Test and Protect guidelines, there is a requirement to record of every pupil registered for each bus, therefore no pupil will be allowed to travel on school transport unless they are registered in advance and show the necessary bus pass for the route on the day.

Pupils who do not have a valid bus pass will not be permitted to travel, and pupils with valid passes will only be able to travel on the route that they have been assigned. 

Parents/carers will receive confirmation of route details following their application.

Non-entitled pupils travelling on fare-paying routes must now book and pre-pay journeys in advance. Pupils will not be able to travel unless they have pre-booked and have a valid ticket for the journey.  This will be administered by individual schools and further details of the specific process will be provided as soon as possible

Pupils attending Additional Support Needs schools will be contacted individually over transport arrangements.

We would also encourage parents to consider if they could active travel to school, using foot "Park and Stride", bike or scooter if possible.