Deferred and Early Entry to School Highland Guidance Update

Highland Council have recently reviewed their guidance on deferred and early entry to school.  One of the key messages within the guidance is as follows:

 ‘If your child’s birthday falls between 18 August 2020 and the end of February 2021 (e.g. still 4 years old on the school start date in August 2020) you are entitled to defer entry to primary school. If you believe your child is not ready for school you should discuss this with your child’s ELC setting. The final decision on deferred entry is with the parent. This additional year will be fully funded by the Highland Council.’

Read the full guidance at the following link. Deferred and Early Entry to School – January 2020

Bookbug Shared Practice Event, Inverness

Bookbug Shared Practice Event

Wednesday 4 March 2020

10am – 2:00pm (Registration from 9:30am)

Canal Park, Clubhouse, Inverness IV3 5SS

Calling all Bookbug practitioners!

You’re invited to join us for a half-day Bookbug Shared Practice Event in Inverness, where you can find out more about how Bookbug is being used by a whole range of practitioners in communities and family homes throughout your area and beyond. Share ideas, hear about innovative projects, get inspired and recharge your Bookbug battery!

This event is open to everyone who includes Bookbug in their work or is interested in hearing more about how they can be involved in Bookbug in their local area, whether you gift the Bookbug bags, lead Bookbug Sessions, use Bookbug in family homes, or have attended a Bookbug training course in the past.

The day will include –

Have something to share?

If you have some Bookbug related practice that you would be willing to share through a presentation, poster or display, please contact let us know when you register.


How to book
Places at this event are funded by Scottish Book Trust and there is no cost for participants.

Click on the following link to register online:

Having problems signing up online? Call 0131 524 0179 or email

Planning Using a Floorbook Approach at Inverlochy ELC

Many settings across Highland have been developing their approaches to planning using Floorbooks.  The Floorbook approach is an innovative child-led approach to observation, documentation and planning which involves listening to and observing children’s interactions to help identify their interests.  From these observations, staff can scaffold unique learning opportunities which excite and engage our youngest learners.

Planning Page from the ‘Castles’ Floorbook at Inverlochy ELC

Inverlochy ELC use Floorbooks to support their planning process.  Follow the link to the Using Floorbooks section on the ELC blog and scroll through the pictures and captions to learn more about the way children, staff and families from Inverlochy ELC developed their ‘Castles’ Floorbook.

Care Inspectorate announcement:

Improvement programme to support early learning and childcare settings launching soon

The Scottish Government have funded CI to run an improvement programme to support early learning and childcare settings that offer funded places and are not currently meeting the quality criteria in the National Standard. The aim of the programme is to support funded settings to make the improvements they need to meet the quality criteria.  

Further information about the early learning and childcare improvement programme will be available in the new year. 

UHI ELC have been working to improve the involvement of families in their Improvement Plan.

They have created  an Improvement Board wall display in the cloakroom. The wall is interactive with the improvement priorities displayed and any updates noted by staff. Families are encouraged to add comments too.

A self-evaluation calendar is displayed as well as the Vision and Aims  of the setting and any relevant developments.

The Care Inspectorate have published a new document: Good practice guidance: prevention and management of choking episodes in babies and children

They have produced this guidance to raise awareness of preventing and managing choking episodes for those caring for young children. It can happen quickly, and the effects can be devastating.

This guidance includes:
• who this guidance is for
• some advice and guidance from other sources
▪ definition of choking
▪ relieving choking
▪ food safety
▪ toy safety
▪ health and safety at work
• related Scottish Statutory instruments
• related Health and Social Care Standards
• reference documents
• web links

New National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan:2020

The Scottish Government has published its National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan: 2020. This sets out the vision and priorities for Scottish education, replacing the NIF and Improvement Plan published last year. Plans to increase the focus on improvement activity in early learning and childcare (ELC) are noted, with reference to the new National Standard and associated requirements around Care Inspectorate evaluations. The importance of outdoor learning within the “ELC offer” is also highlighted.