Most pupils learning from home until mid February (19 January)
The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday 19 January that Scotland's Covid-19 lockdown has been extended until at least the middle of February, with most school pupils to continue learning from home. She hopes schools will be able to at least begin a phased return to the classroom in the middle of next month.
Schools will continue to provide critical childcare only for key workers and for our most vulnerable children and young people.
Category 1 or 2 key workers should contact their child's school directly with any queries about places.
Schools will continue to provide home learning until at least the middle of February. This learning experience will be different, however it will still be based on children’s current learning targets.
More information about changes to some council services (Tuesday 5 January update)
Find out more about our critical service delivery, which will mean no changes to current recycling services. Parks will also remain open.
Council to deliver critical services only (Monday 4 January update)
Following today’s announcement by the First Minister that additional level 4 restrictions will be in place from midnight tonight (Monday), Midlothian Council will deliver critical services only.
These new restrictions, which are similar to the lockdown of March and will be in place at least until the end of January, mean that everyone should stay at home.
This means it will only be permissible to leave home for an essential purpose.
This will include, for example, caring responsibilities, essential shopping, exercise and being part of an extended household.
In addition, anyone who is able to work from home, must do so. It will only be a reasonable excuse to leave your home to go to work, if that work cannot be done from home.
The Scottish Government is also providing new guidance for people who are in the shielding category.
If you were shielding and you cannot work from home, you should not go into work at all.
From tomorrow (Tuesday), the rule on outdoor gatherings will change.
A maximum of two people from up to two households will be able to meet outdoors.
Children aged 11 and under will not be counted in that limit, and they will also be able to play outdoors in larger groups, including in organised gatherings.
However, for everyone else – including 12 to 17 year olds - outdoor exercise should only take place in a way which is consistent with the 2 people from 2 households rule.
In addition, strict travel restrictions remain in place across Scotland. From tomorrow, you cannot leave your home except for an essential purpose. When you do go out, stay as close to home as possible and stay away from crowded places.
The restrictions are enforceable by law. Many thanks for your co-operation.
New arrangements for education after the school break (22 December)
A letter has been sent to parents and carers about new arrangements in place for returning to school after the break. The First Minister has extended the break for pupils until 11 January. From that date, most children and young people will learn from home until 18 January.
Staff will return on Wednesday 6 January and on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 January, schools will provide critical childcare only for key workers and for our most vulnerable children and young people.
Update on schools and other council services (Sunday 20 December)
Following the First Minister’s announcement on Saturday, please find more details of what this will mean for our services.
Following public health advice, the Scottish Government advises schools should remain OPEN until the end of term. Having taken advice from public health, Midlothian Council will ensure our schools and early learning and childcare settings will continue with effective preventative measures in place.
We understand that some parents have been in touch to say they will keep their child at home. If you intend to keep your child at home please inform your school as you normally would.
On Tuesday 22 December, we will update parents and carers about arrangements for schools and our early learning settings after the festive break.
Other council services
From 5pm on Tuesday 22 December the council will deliver essential services only.
To encourage local residents to socialise safely outdoors parks, including Vogrie Country Park will follow normal opening hours. Vogrie’s opening hours include Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Bin collections, including festive collections remain unchanged.
The opening times, including the festive opening times, for Stobhill Recycling Centre, remain unchanged. Penicuik Recycling Centre is closed.
The three libraries currently open, Dalkeith, Newtongrange and Penicuik will now close at 5pm on Tuesday 22 December. All libraries will then remain closed until the level 4 restrictions are lifted.
All of our leisure centres will now close at 5pm on Tuesday 22 December and will remain closed until the level 4 restrictions are lifted. Please note Lasswade is currently closed as a precautionary measure and will now remain closed until level 4 restrictions are lifted.
Children’s Services and Adult Health and Social Care
Children’s Services and Adult Health and Social Care will continue with existing arrangements.
Christmas period arrangements
Given the concern about this new strain of coronavirus, mixing indoors in a bubble is allowed on Christmas Day only. The household limits still apply: a maximum of 8 people from 3 households is the law. But the advice is to minimise the numbers and to only use this flexibility if you really need to. Do not meet indoors at all if you can possibly avoid it. If you had people travelling to join you for Christmas from anywhere else in the UK: don’t. The law is being changed to make such trips illegal. If you have caring responsibilities, you can, as always, still visit someone else - on Christmas Day and on other days - if it is essential to do so in order to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person.
Strict Travel Ban
In order to reduce the risk of more of this new strain being imported into Scotland, the Scottish Government is putting in place a strict travel ban between Scotland and the rest of the UK. This will remain in place throughout the festive period. International travel arrangements are under review. In the meantime, the advice continues to be against non-essential foreign travel. Please note too that, other than Christmas Day, you should not be travelling outwith the local authority boundary, with some exceptions.
Boxing Day onwards
Level 4 measures will be in place for a period of three weeks from one minute after midnight on Boxing Day morning. To be clear, that means that from Boxing Day, non-essential shops will close, as will pubs, cafes and restaurants. Takeaway food will continue to be allowed.
We are reminding all residents to stick by the rules in place and follow FACTS:
F: Face coverings
A: Avoid crowds
C: Clean hands
T: Two metres
Many thanks for your co-operation.
Update on schools and other council services coming later today (20 December)
We will be updating parents and carers later today about school arrangements for Monday onwards in the light of the First Minister’s announcement last night about tighter coronavirus restrictions. We will also be updating this page with information about how the FM announcement will impact on other council services. Many thanks for your patience.
Lasswade Leisure Centre closed until Tuesday at 4pm (17 December)
Please note Lasswade Leisure Centre is to close until schools break up. This is as a precautionary measure and is further reassurance to parents after a small number of people across Lasswade High School and the leisure centre tested positive for coronavirus. The centre will reopen at 4pm on Tuesday 22 December.
While the centre is already closed to the public during school hours, a high number of community users make use of the facilities in the evenings. Therefore, in a bid to keep pupils, staff and the wider public safe, it is deemed advisable to close the centre until the end of term.
Enhanced cleaning measures and all other appropriate infection control measures are already in place in the leisure centre and the school in line with national guidance.
Many thanks for your co-operation.
Highers and Advanced Highers update (17 December)
With Higher and Advanced Higher exams cancelled, we have more details of the awards process.
Chief Executive and NHS Public Health Director issue joint statement (16 December)
Midlothian Council’s Chief Executive Dr Grace Vickers and Interim Director of Public Health and Health Policy at NHS Lothian Katie Dee have issued a joint statement urging local residents to follow the level 3 coronavirus restrictions guidance.
The statement reads: “With Christmas approaching and the vaccine programme only just beginning, it is vital that Midlothian residents continue to stand together to protect each other.
“Please avoid inviting people who are not part of your household into your home. You can meet up to 6 people from 2 separate households outdoors in a private garden or in a public place such as a park.
“Wearing face coverings, avoiding crowded areas, cleaning hands, keeping a 2 metre distance all work to supress the virus. Crucially, if you have symptoms, please self-isolate and get a test.”
Appeal to follow guidance as Midlothian to stay at level 3 (15 December)
With coronavirus cases rising in Midlothian, the council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for communities, Councillor Russell Imrie said he couldn’t stress strongly enough how vital it is we all comply with the current restrictions.
His appeal came as the Scottish Government confirmed Midlothian is to stay at level 3. Cllr Imrie said: “The bottom line is if we don’t follow the level 3 guidance, we could end up in level 4 – essentially back in lockdown.
“So I’m urging local people – and I can’t stress this strongly enough - to take responsibility and keep to the rules for the sake of your own family and everyone else’s family.”
Cllr Imrie urged local people NOT to meet anyone who is not in their household indoors in their home or in the other household’s home.
He said local people can meet another household in a public place such as a café. The maximum number of people who can meet indoors in a public (not a home) place such as a cafe is 6 which can be from up to 2 separate households.
“Don’t think that bending the rules to suit yourself won’t do any harm – it does and it will. If the majority of us can stick to the guidance, including social distancing and wearing a face covering while shopping, so can you,” Cllr Imrie added.
Midlothian Food and Key Essentials Fund (14 December)
Help is available for local people who can’t afford to buy food, fuel or other essentials. The Midlothian Food and Key Essentials Fund is open to anyone who is in severe financial difficulty due to COVID-19 or other exceptional circumstances. You can apply if you live in Midlothian and are aged 16 and over, whether you live alone or as part of a family.
Vouchers for food and other basic items are available to those in the greatest need. Support is also available to help cover emergency fuel costs.
- To find out more, and to apply, go to our Food and Key Essentials Fund page
- If you are unable to do this online or need help to complete the form, contact our helpline on 0131 270 8898
Update on self-isolation period (13 December)
We are reminding local people anyone required to self-isolate, due to contact with someone who has had a positive test for coronavirus (COVID-19), or as a result of quarantine rules on arrival from overseas will need to do so for 10 days following updated clinical advice.
Currently the self-isolation period for international travellers and for contacts of positive cases in Scotland is 14 days but this will change from tomorrow (Monday 14 December).
Update on Highers and Advanced Highers (8 December)
This afternoon (Tuesday), the Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced Highers and Advanced Higher exams will be cancelled for 2020-21.
Instead, results will be based on teacher judgement of evidence of your child’s attainment. Your child’s school and the SQA are committed to working together to support teachers.
A robust quality assurance model similar to that already being carried out to determine provisional results awarded by teachers at National 5 level will be extended to include Higher and Advanced Highers.
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is also developing an equality impact assessment as part of this quality assurance model which aims to ensure fair and credible results for all learners.
We realise today’s announcement, which comes after October’s announcement that National 5 exams too will be cancelled, may be stressful for some pupils and their families.
We are confident the process for Higher and Advanced Higher provisional results will be in place to make sure your child’s results will be fair.
If you have any further concerns then please contact your child’s school directly. We will continue to keep you and your child informed of what this means for them as candidates as soon as we can on receipt of further details as a result of today’s announcement.
Midlothian remains in level 3 (updated 8 December)
Midlothian Council is “devastated” to be remaining in level 3 of the Coronavirus restrictions following this afternoon’s announcement by the First Minister. Midlothian has a rate of only 79 cases per 100,000 compared to others who have just been moved from level 4 to 3 with more than 150 cases per 100,000.
The Council Leader, Councillor Derek Milligan and the Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Russell Imrie said: “We have been fighting hard for Midlothian to move into level 2 and today’s announcement makes no sense at all. It was not what we were expecting. To top it all, we were not informed officially and only found out by listening to the First Minister’s speech in Parliament. Clearly partnership working has not happened on this occasion.
"Our businesses and communities have worked hard to abide by the measures in place to help drive down the pace of this virus. To now be told that we are remaining in level 3 is devastating news for them.”
Free school meals and clothing grants (updated 8 December)
Updated information on free school meals and clothing grants is now available (8 December 2020).
This includes information on payments for the October holiday, along with arrangements for the Christmas holiday period and the new term beginning 6 January 2021.
School holidays - no change (updated 3 December)
The Scottish Government has announced there will be no changes to the planned Christmas and New Year holiday dates for schools. This means Midlothian schools will close for the festive break on Tuesday 22 December and will reopen to pupils on Wednesday 6 January, as planned.
The Deputy First Minister John Swinney made the announcement today (Thursday) after taking public health advice on if the holiday period should be extended.
That advice is, on balance, there would be less transmission of COVID-19 through children and young people being in school than mixing out of school. Adding this to the issues around vulnerable children and the need for childcare for key worker children, public health advice is to not change term dates at either end. Mr Swinney was also mindful extending the school holidays could cause significant difficulties for working parents.
Individual schools will provide information to their parents and carers about contact tracing arrangements for the holiday period.
Many thanks for your support and co-operation.
Council Leader reacts to government's decision for county to remain at level 3 (Monday 23 November)
Midlothian Council Leader Councillor Derek Milligan has confirmed the Scottish Government has just informed us we are to remain in level 3. He says; “This is disappointing for business and communities given the hard work and preparation that has gone into the plans for opening up tomorrow. Many businesses have taken staff back from furlough and placed orders for goods worth tens of thousands of pounds, some of which is perishable. This decision will make an already volatile situation worse.
“We are also disappointed at the short notice given the importance of this decision. On Monday last week we received an email to say we would remain in level 3, by the Tuesday we received word that we would be moving to level 2 and now today we hear that we are back in level 3 based on the data, which was only shared with us this morning.”
Please continue to abide by the new travel restrictions (Monday 23 November)
We are reminding people in Midlothian of the travel restrictions in place as we remain in level 3.
- you must, by law, remain within that area unless you have a reasonable excuse (see exceptions)
- if you have to travel for essential purposes, you should follow the guidance on travelling safely
- More about the travel restrictions, including the exemptions
Reminder the level 3 restrictions mean gym classes still suspended
Travel restrictions law tonight at 6pm (Friday 20 November)
With new travel restrictions becoming law today (Friday) across Scotland, Midlothian Council’s Leader Councillor Derek Milligan is asking residents to abide by the law.
This means from 6pm Tonight, Friday 20 November, except for essential purposes, you are not permitted to leave the Midlothian council area as we are still in Level 3.
From Tuesday 24 November some travel restrictions will be lifted. Midlothian will move into Level 2 and you will be permitted to go into East Lothian (Level 2) and Scottish Borders (Level 2) but you cannot travel to Level 3 or Level 4 areas, for example Edinburgh and West Lothian. There are exceptions.
Councillor Milligan said staying local will help save lives and potentially local businesses. He said: “Many thanks to local people who, by continuing to comply with the rules, have brought our infection rates down to the point we can now move into Level 2 on Tuesday. I know that it can be tempting to jump on the bus to head to Fort Kinnaird or the centre of Edinburgh but this will not be permitted from 6pm today.
“Midlothian has plenty of good shopping. Local retail businesses really need our support right now as many have been struggling. So to save lives and support the local economy please shop locally.”
Councillor Milligan added the council is working with Police Scotland. We fund additional community police teams and therefore there will be enhanced policing to ensure that people are not breaking the law. He said: “We know this law is new but that is no excuse, this is serious and we need to protect our communities from the spread of the virus – that’s why this law is so important.”
Council Leader thanks residents (19 November)
Council Leader Councillor Derek Milligan thanks residents and asks them to continue to adhere to the coronavirus guidance as we prepare to move into Level 2 on Tuesday.
Scottish Government Furlough Support Grant (updated 18 November)
The Scottish Government Furlough Support Grant is now accepting applications. The grant covers the period from 9 October to 31 October 2020 and is open to businesses that were required by law to close under the brake restrictions.
The fund provides businesses with grants of £1,650 to help meet the cost of re-furloughing staff by supporting the 20% employer’s contribution that they are required to pay under the current UK Government Job Retention Scheme.
Midlothian to move to Tier 2 (updated 17 November)
Council Leader Councillor Derek Milligan says the Scottish Government’s decision to move Midlothian down to Tier 2 was “fantastic news for local communities and businesses”.
Coronavirus business funding (updated 17 November)
If your business is required to close by law or to significantly change its operations due to COVID-19 restrictions from 2 November 2020, you may be eligible to apply for grant funding.
Midlothian stays in Tier 3 (updated 11 November)
Midlothian Council Leader Councillor Derek Milligan says while he is disappointed, he understands the Scottish Government’s decision to keep Midlothian in Tier 3 of the COVID-19 protection levels this week.
Coronavirus Restrictions Business Fund (updated 3 November)
The Scottish Government announced funding for businesses in Scotland affected by the temporary coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions that came into effect from 9 October 2020.
Applications closed at 5pm on Tuesday 3 November 2020.
If you made an application in the past 10 working days and have not yet heard the outcome, please be assured that this will be processed and we will contact you in due course. If we require further information to process your application, we will contact you and you must provide this by 17 November 2020, otherwise we will consider you to have withdrawn your application.
If we requested further information
If you previously applied for a grant but we requested further information from you in order to assess your application, then you must provide this by 5pm on Tuesday 17 November 2020, otherwise we will consider you to have withdrawn your application.
If you previously applied for a grant but were considered ineligible, you may request an appeal of your case. Requests for appeals received after 5pm on Tuesday 17 November 2020 will not be considered.
Please note that applications are being processed on our behalf by The City of Edinburgh Council. If you made an application prior to the past 10 working days and have not been advised of the outcome, you should email:
Update on Scottish Government guidance on reducing the spread of COVID-19 in schools and childcare settings (Friday 30 October)
Our Executive Director Children, Young People and Partnerships Fiona Robertson has written to parents about new Scottish Government guidance on reducing the spread of COVID-19 in schools and childcare settings.
From week beginning Monday 2 November, our schools will be taking steps to implement the new measures. Schools will be in touch with parents and carers about these changes.
In the meantime, from Monday please wear a face covering when dropping off or picking up your child from any school or childcare site. Please note, as Midlothian is following Level 3 protection measures, senior phase secondary pupils (S4-S6) will also be required to wear a face covering in classrooms from Monday.
The guidance has also been updated regarding those with the highest clinical risk (PDF) (shielding) and states parents or guardians should discuss with their GP or clinician whether children with the highest clinical risk should attend school.
Remembrance events guidance (updated 30 October)
Following advice from the Scottish Government, we have updated our Remembrance events guidance.
Midlothian in Tier 3 (29 October 2020 update)
The Scottish Government has announced Midlothian is to be in Level 3 of the COVID-19 protection restriction measures from Monday 2 November.
Local short-term restrictions extended (21 October)
Short-term Covid-19 restrictions within the central belt, including Midlothian, have been extended a further week until Monday 2 November. Among other measures, fitness classes remain suspended in our leisure centres although you can still book to use the gym and our pools.
Scotland is then due to move to a multi-tier system of virus alert levels similar to that in England from Monday 2 November.
Additional funding for businesses affected by temporary restrictions (21 October)
More funding is to be made available for businesses affected by the extension of temporary restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The First Minister has announced that the current temporary restrictions will remain in place until 2 November. As a result, funding for business grants over this period will be increased proportionately.
- The COVID-19 Restrictions Fund will now provide one-off grants of up to £4,310 to businesses required to close by the regulations.
- For businesses that may remain open but are directly impacted by the restrictions, the maximum hardship fund grant will increase to £2,155.
No need to re-apply
These grants are being administered by local authorities. The increase will be automatic and businesses that have already applied for a grant will not have to re-apply.
- The deadline for applications is Tuesday 3 November at 5pm.
- More about the Coronavirus Restrictions Business Fund and how to apply
Businesses can now apply for funding from Coronavirus Restrictions Fund (updated 20 October)
Support funding is now available for businesses in Scotland affected by the temporary Coronavirus (COVID-19) brake restrictions that came into effect from 9 October 2020.
The closing date for the scheme is Tuesday 3 November at 5pm.
Business Closure Fund
The Scottish Government Funds are being administered by local councils, with one-off grants available for hospitality and other businesses required to close by the brake restrictions regulations.
- £2,000 for businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of up to and including £51,000
- £3,000 for businesses with a RV over £51,001
Business Hardship Fund
This fund is to support some businesses that remain open but are still significantly impacted by the restrictions, including those in the direct supply chains of firms that must close. It is also a two-tier scheme:
- £1,000 for businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of up to and including £51,000
- £1,500 for businesses with a RV over £51,001
More details and how to apply:
Pick up and repair service for faulty hearing aids (19 October)
If you have a faulty NHS hearing aid, we can arrange for it to be picked up and returned to you at home.
Coronavirus Restrictions Business Fund (updated 16 October 3pm)
The Scottish Government has announced funding for businesses in Scotland affected by the temporary coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions that came into effect from 9 October 2020. The new and temporary business support funds will be administered by local authorities, providing one-off grants to businesses directly impacted by these restrictions.
Business Closure Fund
This fund will be available to hospitality and other businesses required to close (except for takeaway) by these new restrictions regulations.
You can apply from Tuesday 20 October.
It is a two-tier scheme:
- £2,000 for businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of under £51,000
- £3,000 for businesses with a RV over £51,000
- An upper limit of £15,000 in total will apply to any eligible business operating multiple premises.
Business Hardship Fund
This fund is to support some businesses that remain open but are still significantly impacted by the restrictions, including those in the direct supply chains of firms that must close. It is also a two-tier scheme.
- £1,000 for businesses with a Rateable Value (RV) of under £51,000
- £1,500 for businesses with a RV over £51,000
- An upper limit of £10,000 in total will apply to any eligible business operating multiple premises.
- More information on the Coronavirus Restrictions Business Fund
How to apply
You can apply online from 9am on Tuesday 20 October.
Free School Meals and Clothing Grants update (9 October - 22 December 2020)
Currently, BACS payments are set up for those families who qualified for free school meals based on criteria applied during the lockdown and summer period. However, a number of changes are due to take place.
Grants available for some people who self-isolating
If you are told by the Test and Protect Service to self-isolate because of close contact with someone who has Covid-19, you may be eligible for a £500 lump sum.
Further local restrictions starting Friday 9 October from 6pm
Local coronavirus restrictions for the central belt, including Midlothian, come into force at 6pm this evening (Friday). They will be in place up to and including Sunday 25 October.
Gyms and swimming pools will remain open
Please remember that gyms and swimming pools can remain open although you must book in advance. Group physical activities for people under the age of 18 years are also permitted in our leisure centres.
Library update - 8 October - Penicuik Library
Penicuik Library is reopening for Reserve and Collect customers, all returns, bus pass enquiries, and pre-booked public computer use (and printing and photocopying) on Thursday 8 October.
On reopening, Penicuik Library will be open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11am to 4pm.
Exams: 7 October announcement
The Deputy First Minister has today (Tuesday) announced a number of measures for the awarding of National Courses at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher in 2020–21. We will be reviewing these new measures and updating parents and carers about what it means for local pupils as soon as we can.
Further restrictions: 7 October announcement
The Scottish Government has announced additional targeted restrictions for the Lothians that take effect from Friday at 6pm and will be in place up to, and including, Sunday 25 October.
The restrictions mean all licensed premises across central Scotland, with the exception of hotels for residents, will be required to close. Takeaways are permitted.
Cafes without an alcohol licence will be able to stay open until 6pm.
Snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys and bingo halls will also close in Midlothian for two weeks from 10 October.
Businesses seeking advice and guidance can contact Environmental Health at: [email protected]
There will be no travel ban but people living in the central belt are urged to avoid public transport unless it is "absolutely necessary" (e.g. going to school or work) and are advised not to travel outside of the Lothian health board area, if they do not need to.
Our gyms are still open for individual exercise, as are our swimming pools, although sessions must be booked in advance.
- Find out more about Tonezone gyms including how to book
- Find out more about swimming sessions including how to book
Group fitness classes and contact sports for customers aged 18 and over will be suspended.
The current rules around indoor group exercises for under 18s will remain in place.
Outdoor live events are not permitted for the next two weeks.
Exercise classes from Monday 14 September
You can now book online for fitness classes at our centres although please note all fitness classes are being suspended from 6pm on Friday 9 October up until, and including, Sunday 25 October.
Dalkeith and Newtongrange Libraries
Dalkeith has extended its opening hours until 6.30pm on Tuesdays and from 10.30-12.30pm on Saturdays.
Newtongrange Library reopened on Monday 7 September.
Music tuition letter to parents and carers dated 3 September
A letter has been sent to parents and carers with a further update on music tuition plans (PDF) on 3 September.
Tonezone gyms and pools
We reopened our Tonezone gyms on Monday 31 August (Danderhall sessions start date TBC). Bookings must be made in advance and restrictions will be in place. Swimming pools are open on a limited timetable from Monday 7 September. Bookings must be made in advance.
- Find out more about Tonezone gyms including how to book
- Find out more about swimming sessions including how to book
Instrumental music tuition reminder
A letter has been sent to parents and carers (PDF) to say pupils studying for an SQA Music qualification will be offered online tuition and one-to-one lessons where possible. We expect further national guidance about music tuition during the term. For all other children and young people, lessons will start again week beginning Monday 26 October, after the mid-term break.
Free school meals update (11 August)
We would like to clarify the position with BACS payments for those entitled to free school meals:
Currently, BACS payments are set up for those families who qualified for free school meals based on the criteria applied during the lockdown and summer period. As of the start of the new academic session ALL P1-3 children are entitled to free school meals. Due to an IT issue, it has not been possible to introduce the BACS payment system for ALL P1-3 children. Therefore:
- From Monday 17 August, ALL P1-3 children will be provided with a packed lunch from our school meals service- until then they should bring a packed lunch to school
- This can be ordered on a weekly basis, with further information about the ordering system being issued by the end of this week by your child’s school.
- For all other children and young people from P4-S6 who are entitled to free school meals, BACS payments will continue until Friday 18 September and they should continue to bring a packed lunch to school until then or are advised otherwise.
Please contact your child’s school if you have any further questions or concerns about the provision of school lunches.
School transport update (11 August)
We have sent letters to all pupils travelling to school by public or school transport.
Please note if your child was entitled to FREE school transport last year (i.e, you didn’t have to pay) and is still at the same school then the same arrangements will be in place. In this instance, contact the bus operator for pick up times. Many thanks for your patience.
Here is a reminder of more general information about school transport arrangements (PDF) such as face coverings and physical distancing.
Early learning and childcare update (10 August)
A letter dated 10 August as been sent to parents and carers with further information about the return to school Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Centres on 12 August (PDF) and our commitment to delivering the 1140 hours per year of ELC just as soon as possible.
School transport update (6 August)
A letter has been sent to parents and carers about school transport including information on physical distancing and face coverings (PDF).
Schools reopening (6 August update)
A letter has been sent to parents and carers with further details about arrangements for schools to reopen, including lunches, drop-off and pick-ups and uniforms.
Schools reopening update (Tuesday 4 August)
We have more information about arrangements for schools reopening on 12 August.
Early learning and childcare update (Tuesday 4 August)
We have more information for parents and carers about reopening our local authority childcare settings and providing 1140 hours of early learning.
Updated 16 July 2020
Midlothian libraries are returning!
The Midlothian Library service will be resuming on Monday 27 July, with Dalkeith Library the first branch to be reopened. Other branches will open as soon as it is possible to do so after this date.
Council tenants encouraged to change the way they pay their rent
Council house tenants in Midlothian are being asked to look at changing the way they pay their rent and Council Tax. Because the council’s payments counter at Buccleuch House in Dalkeith is currently closed, tenants are being asked to switch to direct debit, or to look at other payment methods.
Partnership jobs and training pledge to counter impact of COVID-19
The Midlothian Community Planning Partnership has made a commitment to support local jobseekers caught up in the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Members of the partnership, which comprises representatives from Midlothian Council, a range of public agencies, colleges, voluntary organisations, business and community groups, have signed a pledge committing it to maximising efforts to support residents who are out of work or new to the jobs market.
Update 9 July 2020
Council halts plans for new depot in Bonnyrigg
The economic impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to review how local services are provided in the future, has led Midlothian Council to conclude that it should not proceed with plans for a new depot and offices at the Hopefield site in Bonnyrigg.
New Locate in Midlothian website
If you’re looking to start a new business venture, grow your existing company, relocate with your family or simply want to visit the area, the newly launched Locate in Midlothian website gives you all the tools, support and information you need.
Updated 26 June 2020
Councillors have approved a local ‘route map’ through and out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early learning and childcare 1140 hours expansion plans
Here is an update on the early learning and childcare 1140 hours expansion plans in the light of yesterday's Scottish Government announcement that childcare settings may reopen from 15 July (date subject to confirmation).
The Scottish Government has advised us that birth registration can now resume. The procedure to register a birth has changed to accommodate physical distancing, so this will be strictly by appointment only.
Please note that parking attendants, who were doing other duties during the initial lockdown period, are currently back on the streets providing warning notices. Enforcement will begin again on Monday 29 June.
Free school meals
We are continuing to provide free school meals to our most vulnerable families over the summer.
Updated 23 June 2020
Response to the Depute First Minister's statement about schools reopening
We have responded to today's announcement by John Swinney.
Economic Renewal Strategy launched
An ambitious new Economic Renewal Strategy has been approved for Midlothian, with the aim of protecting jobs, preserving business and tackling the adverse economic impact of COVID-19.
The Strategy sets out our partnership approach to managing the transition from lockdown and planning for the longer term challenges the local economy will face.
- Read more about our Economic Renewal Strategy
- View or download the Economic Renewal Strategy (addendum to the Economic Growth Strategy 2020-2025
Updated 18 June 2020
The Scottish Government advises priority registrars services, such as some ceremonies including outdoor weddings, can resume form 29 June 2020.
Updated 16 June 2020
Councillors have held their first remote full Council meeting today (Tuesday). Among the reports approved was a Midlothian Route Map through and out of the coronavirus crisis.
Updated 13 June 2020
A reminder that vans and trailers of household waste can use the Stobhill Recycling Centre from Monday 15 June. This is by appointment only.
Updated 12 June 2020
Parents and carers have been sent a letter with updated information about returning to school (PDF).
Updated 1 June 2020
Vogrie Country Park is open from 10am until gates close at 6pm. Toilets and the car park are open from 10am until 4pm.
Schools update (29 May)
A letter has been sent to all parents and carers around arrangements to reopen schools (PDF). There are also more details about transition arrangements for P1s and P7s.
Stobhill Recycling Centre to reopen
Just a reminder that while Stobhill Recycling Centre is reopening at 9.30am on Monday 1 June, it is likely to be busy over coming days and weeks. If you can’t continue to safely store your recycling at home then please sort materials before arriving. We’re also asking customers to have a look at the site plan before you come.
Grass cutting (22 May)
Council Leader Councillor Derek Milligan thanks our Land & Countryside teams for a sterling effort to catch up with grass cutting during the Covid-19 pandemic. He said the new teams, many of whom had come from other services in the council to help, had their work cut out tackling some areas due to the length of the grass.
However, the backlog is all but finished and workers will now be maintaining all areas, including public parks and open spaces. Land services will now prioritise weed killing, cutting back weeds and grass verges, he added. Given that some of the teams are new, if we’ve missed any areas then please email details to:
Update for parents and carers about schools reopening (21 May)
Plans are already well underway to re-open schools in Midlothian and today’s publication of the Scottish Government’s ‘Strategic Framework for Reopening Schools and ELC Settings in Scotland’ gives further clarity on progressing those, including arrangements for the return of specific groups of children in late June to support transition.
All ELC settings should continue to provide childcare for key worker families only until further notice.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced that schools will reopen on Tuesday 11 August, which is earlier than our planned date of 19 August.
We will be sharing an update on reopening and transition arrangements with staff, parents and carers as soon as we have them. A key priority is to ensure the safety of our children, young people and staff.
In the meantime, you can read more information of the First Minister’s plans for schools on the BBC website.
- Stobhill Recycling Centre will re-open on Monday 1 June, subject to the Scottish Government easing the lockdown.
- Penicuik Recycling Centre will remain closed for safety reasons.
For more details read our household waste recycling centres page.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) - support for Midlothian Council’s Carers
At what is such an unsure and uncertain time, we would like to say we are extremely proud of all our carers.
Our thanks go to every one of you as you continue to provide a high standard of care and support to many children in fostering, kinship and adoptive families.
Midlothian Council is keen to ensure you continue to receive the supports you need to keep your families well and support our children to navigate and grow during this challenging time.
The Family Placement Team continues to work and we are committed to maintaining our contact with you via telephone and virtual supervision.
If you need anything further please be reassured we are here and you can call us on 0131 271 3413 where someone is always available. In addition we will continue to get news out to you via email and our newsletter. Stay Safe.
Message of thanks from Council Leader and Chief Executive
Hardship fund for the newly self-employed
Newly self-employed people who are suffering hardship during the current Covid-19 crisis can now apply for grant funding.
- Find out more about this and other support available to businesses
Ring & Go timetable
Just a reminder that the Ring & Go timetable between Pathhead and Dalkeith extended on Friday 24 April.
Council Leader and Chief Executive thank staff and volunteers
If you are self-isolating with someone who is harming you then don't wait to get help.
School progress reports (28 April)
Grass cutting (27 April update)
We’re now able to resume some grass cutting although not large, open spaces. Instead, the focus will be on verges adjacent to footpaths or pavements to allow people to see oncoming traffic, socially distance and cross safely. Grass on core paths and rights of way will also be cut to make sure everyone using those areas can observe social distancing. Grass at hub centres, where staff are caring for the children of key workers and vulnerable children, will also be cut.
Support for children starting early learning and school or leaving school (27 April)
We want children and young people making the move into early learning, primary or secondary school or leaving school to have the most positive experience possible during the pandemic.
Update for parents and carers 24 April
We have responded to the SQA about determining exam results in 2020.
We're reminding motorists not to drive to Vogrie Country Park. The car park is closed and will remain so.
Glass collections stared again on Monday 27 April.