Playgroup pilot after service withdrawal

Parents whose children went to the playgroup were angry that it was to end.
Parents whose children went to the playgroup were angry that it was to end.

Midlothian Council is to pilot an Easter playscheme run by staff from Saltersgate School after Capability Scotland withdrew its service last year.

As reported in last week’s Advertiser, the council’s Children’s Services put the contract for the additional needs provision out to tender. However, when no bids were received parents were angry that this “lifeline” would end, with the financial equivalent offer seen as no substitute for the specialist supervision their children require.

However, the council will now offer a play scheme over Easter for many of the pupils. The scheme will take place in a wing at St David’s High School as work on Saltersgate’s secure doors is taking place during the school break.

A council spokeswoman said: “While many of the pupils will be offered a placement, not all of the children can go to the playscheme because of the need to have specialist equipment.

“The council is currently working with families whose children are in this position to consider what alternative provision can be put in place.”

A letter was sent to parents last week outlining the position. The council will give more details of the Easter programme to families as soon as possible. Arrangements are also underway to provide a summer play scheme.