30th September 2020
Young people at school are the winners as a result of discussions between High Life Highland and The Highland Council that will see the Charity’s staff phased back into schools after the October break.
Speaking about the arrangement, High Life Highland Chairman, Ian Ross said, “I am delighted that once again our partnership working arrangements with colleagues in The Highland Council mean that High Life Highland staff will be able to recommence their work with young people during the school day and within school buildings.
“High Life Highland has always fully supported and accepted that the Council’s priorities were the safety of pupils and getting them back into full-time education. However, this new agreement will see some of our music instructors, youth workers and active school coordinators returning to school buildings where they will working with the pupils and support Head Teachers and other school staff.
The Charity Chair continued, “In order to fully comply with Scottish Government guidelines, there will still be some restrictions in terms of the types of instruments that can be used during music tuition, as well as the ‘coming and going’ of HLH staff from school grounds. However, there is no doubt this is a move in the right direction and will see our staff being able to re-engage with pupils and young people.”
Highland Councillor, John Finlayson, Chair of the Education Committee commented, “It is great to see the positive outcomes that can be reached by partnership working.
“I understand that HLH staff re-accessing schools will see the phased return of active school coordinators; music instructors; school library staff and youth workers.
“The current pandemic can be challenging for everyone in our communities, not just adults. It is vitally important, now more than ever, that our children and young people in schools are supported through these times.
“Getting school pupils back to face-to-face music tuition with the instructors; participating in outdoor activities organised by the active school’s team or receiving personal pastoral support and advice by the HLH youth team can only enhance the experiences already being offered by Head Teachers and their staff.
“I am extremely pleased that we have been able to put measures in place that will see the see Highland pupils’ school-day experience, outside of the classroom take another step towards some level of normality.”
Ian Ross, Chairman of the Highland Charity concluded, “We will continue to work with the Elected Members and Officials of Highland Council to build on the existing arrangements and move towards the reintroduction of the full range of HLH services across school and community facilities.
“We are extremely proud of the work we undertake with children and young people across the Highlands. Thanks to the arrangements being put in place by The Highland Council after the October break, HLH can resume its role in supporting young people in schools and communities across the Highlands at a time when it is most needed.”
The partnership arrangement will see HLH and The Highland Council working towards the next phase of introducing other wind instruments, singing tuition and community libraries to schools, in line with the Scottish Government guidelines.