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Children in Scotland / Learning English / Higher and Further Education / Useful URLs

Life in Great Britain citizenship course

ESOL learners will need a Highland Libraries card to create a login for themselves so that they can work through the material on the course, which prepares them for the Life in the United Kingdom citizenship test.


Children in Scotland

Pre-School Children

School-Age Children

Help for families on a low income

Help with English language

Help with additional support needs


It is a parent’s responsibility to look after their children, protect them from harm, ensure that they are properly cared for, and ensure that they receive education. In Scotland, a child is anyone under the age of 16.

Pre-School Children

Children in Scotland have the right to free, part-time, pre-school provision from the age of 3 years. 4 years olds are entitled to 5 sessions at 2.5 hours of funded early education per week. There are Playgroups, Day Nurseries and Toddler Groups and Nurseries for pre-school age children. The link below gives details of birth dates when children will become eligible: http://www.highland.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/950153A0-1CC0-47CF-9D69-89D6F93683E4/0/enrolmentleaflet0607.pdf

More information and a list of Playgroups, Day Nurseries and other groups can be found by using The Highland Council Childcare Information Service:

The Highland Council Childcare Information Service, Tel: 0845 601 1345

School-Age Children

Children in Scotland have a right to a free place in school. Parents are legally responsible for ensuring that their children are educated and usually do this by sending their children to school. Some parents choose to educate their children at home or in private schools. Children normally start school in the August when they are aged between 4 ½ and 5 ½ years, and transfer to secondary school in the August when they are aged 11 ½ to 12 ½ years. Children must continue in education until they are aged 16. The majority of young people stay on at secondary school for up to a further 2 years until they are aged 18.

To enrol children at a school in the area where you live you must contact the school’s head teacher. If you wish to enrol a child outside the area where you live you should contact the Area Education Manager:

Caithness Area Education Office

Rhind House

West Banks Avenue


Telephone 01955 602 362

Sutherland Area Education Office

Johnstone Place


Telephone 01408 621 382

Ross & Cromarty Area Education Office

The Education Centre

Castle Street


Telephone 01349 863 441

Inverness Area Education Office

13 Ardross Street


Telephone 01463 663 800

Nairn,Badenoch & Strathspey Area Education Office

King Street



Telephone 01540 661 009

Skye & Lochalsh Area Education Office

Elgin Hostel


Isle of Skye, IV51 9EE

Telephone 01478 613 697

Lochaber Area Education Office

Montrose Avenue



Telephone 01397 702 466

Help for families on a low income

Families who have a very low income may be able to claim a free lunch for their child at school and some assistance with school clothing. Your Area Education Manager will be able to tell you to where you can claim these.

Help with English language

Schools working with pupils who need support to develop their English language skills may be able to receive advice from the Highland Council. Details of this Service can be found on the Highland Virtual Learning Community website .

Help with additional support needs

Some children and young people require additional support to help them to learn in school, and if you think that your child needs additional support you should discuss this with the head teacher of your child’s school. Pupils with additional support needs have a right to full-time education and this is usually provided in the child’s local school. A few children and young people attend specialist schools so that they can get the expert help they require. Parents are fully consulted and involved in decisions about the additional support that their child needs.


If you need care for your child while you are at work there are several choices available. There are ‘Registered Childminders’, Nurseries and ‘Out of school services’ which can provide care for children outside school hours. For more information visit the Highland Childcare Information Service online or call the service on 01463 711 176. Their address is:

High Street

The Scottish Childminding Association can also provide information on Registered Childminders working in your area:

Scottish Childminding Association

3 Gordon Terrace

Inverness, IV2 3HS

Tel 01463 715545

Learning English

English classes for speakers of other languages are available in many towns across the Highlands. There are classes for absolute beginners, or for those who already speak some English. Classes are run by the Highland Council’s Adult Basic Education services, by the Workers Educational Association and at Inverness College. Many of these classes are run in the evenings, and some classes can be run in the workplace.

Contact the organisations below to find out if classes are currently running in your area:

Adult Basic Education English Classes:


Wick: telephone: 01955 609905
email: libby.cook@highland.gov.uk


telephone: 01549 402050
email: barbara_123@btconnect.com

Ross & Cromarty

telephone: 01349 864579
email: norma.christie@highland.gov.uk

Nairn, Badenoch & Strathsepy

telephone: 01479 811689
email: isabel.duncan@highland.gov.uk


telephone: 01463 710013
email: jill.crawshaw@highland.gov.uk

Skye and Lochalsh

telephone: 01478 614064
email: joey.graham@highland.gov.uk


telephone: 01397 707371
email: ann-marie.donoghue@highland.gov.uk

Workers Educational Association English classes:

WEA Highland

David Whyte House

57 Church Street, Inverness IV1 1DR

Telephone 01463 710577



Inverness College English classes:
3 Longman Road
Longman South
Inverness, IV1 1SA

Telephone: 01463 273000

Higher and Further Education, and Lifelong Learning

Scottish Qualifications

Higher Education

Further Education and Lifelong Learning

Most study at degree level in the United Kingdom takes place at Colleges of Further Education and at Universities. Details of how to apply can be found on the UCAS website.

It is also possible to study at home to degree level by taking courses provided by The Open University, and details can be found at http://www.openuniversity.org

Scottish Qualifications

There are many different kinds of Scottish qualifications gained at school, college, university and through work - Highers, SVQs, HNDs, Degrees and many more. The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework website provides information on the various types of qualifications and how they compare.

Higher Education

The UHI Millennium Institute (UHI) is a distinctive and innovative higher education institution offering work-related courses, such as higher national certificates and diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and research opportunities throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. This is achieved through a partnership of colleges and research institutions along with an associated network of outreach learning centres.

For students new to the region, UHI offers:

· A choice of campus locations in urban, rural and island communities.

· Local access to learning and research relevant to their needs and to those of local employers

· Distinctive courses and subject areas reflecting the characteristics of the region and with relevance worldwide.

· Extensive use of information technology, including on-line materials and video-conferencing.

· Small class sizes with a focus on the needs of the individual learner.

· Welcoming communities, rich in culture and located in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

· A growing range of programmes available by on-line distance learning

For more information go to the UHI Millennium website or telephone them at 0845 272 3600.

Further Education and Lifelong Learning

The Highlands can offer many different levels of learning: including basic skills, leisure classes and work-related courses for commerce or industry. Further Education can provide an entry to university-level study if you do not yet have the relevant qualifications. There are also many practical courses at a high level for technicians, business employees and managers or those looking to strengthen their skills to help them find a better job in the Highlands.

Contact the following Colleges and local learning centres for further details of courses starting soon near you:

Argyll College UHI
West Bay
PA23 7HP
Tel: 0845 230 9969
Fax: 01369 707185

Inverness College UHI
3 Longman Road
Longman South

Tel: 01463 273000
Fax: 01463 711977


Highland Theological College UHI
High Street
IV15 9HA

Tel: 01349 780000
Fax: 01349 780001


Lochaber College, Colaisde Lochaber
An Aird
Fort William
PH33 6AN

Tel: 01397 874000
Fax: 01397 874001


Moray College UHI
Moray Street
IV30 1JJ

Tel: 01343 576000
Fax: 01343 576001


North Highland College UHI
Ormlie Road
KW14 7EE

Tel: 01847 889000
Fax: 01847 889001


Through our campuses in Thurso, Wick, Alness and Dornoch, North Highland College aims to serve all the communities of the North.

Lews Castle College UHI
Isle of Lewis

Tel: 01851 770000
Fax: 01851 770001


NAFC Marine Centre UHI

Port Arthur
Telephone: 01595 772000
Fax: 01595 772001

Orkney College UHI
KW15 1LX

Tel: 01856 569000
Fax: 01856 569001

Perth College
Crieff Road

Tel: 0845 270 1177
Fax: 01738 877001


Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI
An Teanga
Isle of Skye
IV44 8RQ

Tel: 01471 888000
Fax: 01471 888001


Shetland College UHI

Tel: 01595 771000
Fax: 01595 771001


Learning Centres

Visit the UHI Millennium Institute website for details of the learning centre closest to where you live. Alternatively, call Margaret Cameron on 01397 874204.

Useful URLs

The Highland Council Childcare Information Service


Highland Council Information on Nursery and Pre-School


Highland Virtual Learning Community website http://highlandschools-virtualib.org.uk/sfl/eal.htm

Highland Childcare Information Service


Scottish Childminding Association http://www.childminding.org/

Adult Basic Education http://www.abeweb.co.uk/index.php

Workers Educational Association http://www.weascotland.org.uk/

Inverness College http://www.inverness.uhi.ac.uk/

UCAS website http://www.ucas.ac.uk

Open University http://www.openuniversity.org

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework http://www.scqf.org.uk/

UHI Millennium Institute http://www.uhi.ac.uk/

Argyll College UHI http://www.argyllcollege.uhi.ac.uk

Highland Theological College UHI http://www.htc.uhi.ac.uk/

Lochaber College http://www.lochabercollege.co.uk/

Moray College UHIwww.moray.ac.uk

North Highland CollegeUHI http://www.nhcscotland.com/

Lews Castle College UHI http://www.lews.uhi.ac.uk/

NAFC Marine Centre UHI www.nafc.ac.uk

Orkney College UHI http://www.orkney.uhi.ac.uk

Perth College www.perth.ac.uk

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI www.smo.uhi.ac.uk

Shetland College UHI www.shetland.uhi.ac.uk

Children’s Library http://www.highland.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/childrensservices/

Information and e -learning services


Local history http://www.ambaile.org.uk/index.jsp

Books and reading http://www.hi-read.org.uk/

Adult literacies


Schools Library Service offers a specialist service for teachers in Highland http://www.highland.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/schoollibraryservice/-

Highland Schools Virtual Library web site provides on-line support for pupils and teachers. http://highlandschools-virtualib.org.uk/

This page was last updated on 24 November 2006. If you spot any inaccuracies or inconsistency in information, please email us at hief@scvo.org.uk

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme