Schools, early learning and children

Support for children starting school or early learning and leaving school

24 April update

As part of Education Service planning, we are working hard to make sure children starting in early learning and childcare settings, P1 and S1 and leaving school have a good experience when making that move.

As you will be aware, usual arrangements are not possible in this challenging time. 

Home to an Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) setting

If you are getting ready to transition your child from home to an early learning and childcare setting, be reassured this will be carefully planned, putting the child and family’s needs first.  All our early years transitions are planned with the family.

When our situation allows, where and if possible, home visits and planned settling in visits will take place as normal. If the current situation continues, we are looking at different ways of supporting transitions until normal transition can be resumed.

1140 hours

Due to Covid19, the statutory duty to provide 1140 hours from August has been revoked, and the expansion programme re-phased. The government is still committed to the full expansion, just to a different timetable. This will mean we need to revisit our availability of places in each locality for August.

We are working on availability, and letters will be sent out at the beginning of May to ask about preferences for settings and hours. Information will be coordinated centrally, and when places are allocated, the ELC settings will send out more information at the beginning of June.

If you have specific concerns, email:

Early Learning and Childcare to P1

Starting school is an exciting time. Although there may be uncertainty around what moving to P1 will look like, we want to reassure you that staff are working hard behind the scenes to think about and plan this important time for children.

As soon as plans are finalised, your child’s ELC setting and school will work with you to put these plans into action.

Our teams across ELC and Primary 1 are working to make sure that P1 is ready to meet the needs of all children in these unusual circumstances.

If you have specific concerns, email Education Services.

Placing Requests

If you have questions about placing requests, email:

P7 to S1

Our secondary and primary schools have been working on primary to secondary transition. However, we will adapt our plans to best meet our families’ needs during the pandemic. Each secondary will communicate these plans with their cluster primary schools and families.

We continue to develop opportunities to support P7 learners’ transition to Secondary School. These may include 'virtual tours', question and answer sessions, and regular updates.

Secondary schools will also have policies to ensure P7s are welcomed. This may include 'buddying' systems, key staff on hand to offer support and guidance, and regular communication with families.

School Leavers

In Midlothian we pride ourselves on the high level of support we offer our school leavers. This support continues to ensure our learners reach a positive destination.

The Secondary Pupil Support teams continue to work with partners including Skills Development Scotland, Community Learning and Development and further/higher educational establishments to ensure our young people are not disadvantaged.

If you have any questions, contact your link secondary school Pupil Support Team, or email:

Saltersgate and complex needs

Saltersgate School and the individual complex needs provisions will be in contact with all new families over the summer term to look at transition arrangements.

The transition work will be a combination of approaches, like a virtual tour or walk-through to help support all children and young people with ASN. These may not be face-to-face for some pupils. However, specialist staff will ensure that parental requests like social stories are considered as part of this process if appropriate.

If you have any questions, email: