WELCOME TO SCOTLAND
About this guide
We want to give you the important facts and information you need before you come, and help you when you arrive. We cannot include all the details here but will point you in the right direction so you can get expert advice in Polish and in English. We recommend you follow up the weblinks to get detailed information and should always take futher advice based on your own situation.
We have set up a special service for anyone who wants to come and live in Scotland - the Relocation Advisory Service (RAS +44 141 248 2808). We understand that leaving home and moving to a new country can be difficult so we want to help you prepare properly so you’ll know what to expect when you arrive. You can find out more about the service at www.szkocja.eu (English:
You will also find here an information book about Scotland: Szkocja.Najlepszy mały kraj na świecie
But first read on and get to know us a little better.
Polish language site.
English Language Skills
Being able to speak some English is important. It will help you get work and make life easier so try and do a basic course before you come here – for more details see the Education section. There are plenty of opportunities for you to improve your language skills once you’re here – courses are available at every level and are often provided free to new migrant works in each local authority area although there may be a waiting list. You can expect some help with interpreting and translating in many public institutions. Some organisations offer a service of an interpreter over the phone (Language Line) and documents in Polish. We’ve given you links in this guide to many Polish language information sites.
WELCOME TO SCOTLAND
POLISH WELCOME GUIDE: FOREWORD BY FIRST MINISTER
Scotland is one of the most friendly countries in the world. We have a long tradition of welcoming Poles to come and live in our country. And we have extended the hand of friendship to many others across the world too.
We aim to attract more people to Scotland. We are inviting bright, talented and hard- working individuals – including Poles - to come and live and work in Scotland.
Scotland is a fantastic country. We have some of the most beautiful and spectacular scenery anywhere in the world, a vibrant culture, excellent schools and higher education, good transport links and good public services. Scottish entrepreneurial spirit and a strong work ethic continue to drive our economy. Job opportunities are available at different levels across a wide range of sectors including energy, financial services, food and drink, tourism, health and transport. In short, it is great to live in Scotland.
If you are considering working overseas, I hope you will consider Scotland as a destination. This information pack is intended to help you with your decision. It contains all you need to know about living and working in Scotland – from gaining employment, to looking for housing and finding schools for your children - as well as information about the leisure and cultural opportunities which Scotland has to offer.
I hope you will find this helpful, and that you will decide to come and join us here in Scotland. You can be assured of a warm Scottish welcome.
JACK McCONNELL First Minister of Scotland
I would like to add my own welcome to fellow Poles coming to Scotland. We have a long history of close ties with each other. We have a long history of close ties between our countries. The Consulate General of Poland in Scotland was established in Glasgow, after the World War II in 1946 as one of the first Polish consular establishments. It was founded primarily to create links with Polish
emigrants, who were mostly former members of the Polish Armed Forces, who had decided to settle in Scotland.
Since Poland joined the EU in 2004, many more Poles have come here to work or study. Many of you will be thinking about the possibilities of staying here for a longer time and working or studying in this amazing country. I hope that this guide will help you to prepare better before you come so you can make the most of opportunities it offers.
The Polish Consulate is now located in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland and we continue to look after the interests of Poles who visit or wish to stay longer in Scotland. We work with the local Polish community, as well as working for the further development of the historically close friendship between our two nations. I look forward to seeing the Polish community continue to prosper and grow in Scotland. I wish you all a fascinating and constructive time in Scotland.
Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh www.polishconsulate.org
WORKING IN SCOTLAND
We want you to find work as quickly as you can so you can begin to establish your new life here in Scotland. But some preparation, especially before you come, will make life easier for you. Here we give just a brief overview of what you need to do to get a job but do take the time to follow up the information points to get the facts and further advice.
Employment regulations and your rights
As a Polish national you are subject to the Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) for working in Scotland.
You must register within one month of starting work, by submitting a completed WRS Application Form available from www.workingintheuk.gov.uk or call the helpline on 08705 210224.
You will also need:
A copy of a letter from your employer confirming you are working
2 passport photos
your passport/ID card
a payment of £70
Please remember it will take between two – four weeks to process your registration so do make sure you take a photocopy of your indentity papers before sending off the orgininals.
For more information about the WRS process there is a Polish leaflet available on:
(English version: www.dti.gov.uk/files/file27632.pdf )
Once you have been working legally in the UK for twelve months without a break you will have full rights of free movement.
It is a good idea to get to know how the employment and tax system works and to know your rights before you come or before you accept any job offer in Poland. The two websites detailed below give you comprehensive information in Polish about the WRS and your rights as a worker in the UK.
Everyone at work, including all agency workers, enjoy these rights from the first day:
The National Minimum Wage
NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE RATES
Note: these are the current rates. There will be an increase on 1 October 2006 Hourly Rate From Oct 2006 Main rate for workers aged 22 and over £5.05 £5.35
Development rate for 18-21 year olds £4.25 £4.45 Development rate for 16-17 year old £3.00 £3.30
The development rate can also apply to employees aged 22 and over who are also receiving accredited training during their first six months in a new job with a new employer.
There are slightly different rates for agricultural workers although it is no less than the above rates.
If you are not clear whether you are being paid the correct amount you can check it out at www.worksmart.org.uk/minwage_calc.php .
Working time rights
These cover rest breaks, holidays, holiday pay, night work and how many hours you can work each week. For example, you have the right not to work more than 48 hours a week on average.
Health and Safety protection
Your employer has a duty to provide you with a safe and healthy working environment.
Protection from unfair discrimination
You have the right not to be treated less favourably than other workers by your agency or the hiring company on the grounds of sex, race, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, religion or belief and age.
The right to join a union
You are allowed to join a union and you do not have to tell your employer.
Information about joining a trade union in Scotland can be found at: www.stuc.org.uk
Full details on your working time rights and other rights can be found in Polish on these websites:
(English version: www.tuc.org.uk/tuc/workingintheuk.pdf )
When you arrive in Scotland the most important information point for all work-related issues are the government employment agency network of Job Centres at
www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk. To find you nearest Job Centre go to this site or check the Yellow Pages for the phone number.
Tax and National Insurance
Income tax will be deducted from your wages throughout the year. This is known as Pay As You Earn (PAYE). You can earn a certain amount within a tax year (April 6 to April 5) without paying tax – this is known as your Personal Allowance. Tax rates vary according to your situation. You can check the current rates on the HM
Revenue and Customs website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/rates/it.htm
In addition to paying UK tax, you may also have to pay tax in Poland if you are resident there for tax purposes and if your stay in the UK is temporary (under six months). In that case, if the tax you pay in the UK is less than the tax due on the same income in Poland, you will have to pay the difference to Poland. Further advice is available from your local tax office (Urzad Skarbowy) in Poland.
National Insurance contributions (NI) are also deducted. This tax pays for
everyone’s healthcare and some benefits depend on how much NI you have paid.
You need to an NI number as soon as you start work. It’s a unique number and every employer will ask you for this. Contact your nearest Job Centre to arrange to get your NI number – you will need to take proof of identity with you. If you already have a job also take a letter from your employer confirming your employment.
If you’ve signed a contract in Poland and you pay your social security contibutions in Poland you will need to sign a form E101 so that NI contributions are not paid in Scotland. Futher details from www.zus.pl
Qualification for benefits such as statutory sick pay and statutory maternity pay are dependent on many factors including length of residence, period of employment and payment of National Insurance contributions . Your family may be entitled to receive some social benefits including child or housing benefit.
To find out more information about benefit entitlement and arrangements on social security payment arrangements with other countries go to
www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk. Under the “Want to make a claim?” section you will find a link “Coming from abroad” which will give you further details.
Your Polish professional qualifications
You will need to check whether your Polish professional qualifications are valid in Scotland. UK NARIC is a national organisation which can help you. The NARIC Recognition and Evaluation Service is the starting point when considering
progressions towards further studies or employment in the UK.
To help you or an employer understand the qualifications you have and how they compare to Scottish qualification levels, the Scottish Qualification Authority have provided a comparison table and an overview of the Polish education system. To find out more visit www.sqa.org.uk/poland
Further information can be found on www.szkocja.eu under the Finding Work section.
How to find work
Please remember that you do not have to pay anyone to help you find a job and no one should charge you for registering with a recruitment agency. There are people here in Scotland to help and guide you even if you speak very little English.
Eures – The European Job Mobility Portal
Through this site you can search for available jobs and find specific guides on living and working in European Union countries. www.europa.eu.int/eures (also
Before you arrive in Scotland you can do some research into the types of jobs available. Simply go to the national government employment agencies
www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk and you’ll find a search engine where you can find out what jobs are available in different areas in Scotland. Once you’ve arrived, the local Job Centre office is the best place to go to find work. You can find your local office on the same website.
You will find recruitment agencies in Poland and in Scotland.
Recruitment agencies work in one of two ways:
1. Either by employing and paying you while you work on a contract they’ve secured with an employer
2. Or filling a vacancy for an employer who will then employ you directly.
You must be clear what the arrangement is and the contract of employment and deductions which will be made. Remember employers can only make deductions if they are:
Required by law (e.g. Tax and NI contributions)
Authorised by the worker’s contract
Consented to by the worker in writing before the deduction is made.
The guides mentioned above will have further details and contacts where you can get further advice.
There are a number of good job websites you can access to find jobs. For a comprehensive list go to the Finding a Job section on www.szkocja.eu Newspapers
Useful job websites:
The Scotsman: www.scotsman.com The Herald: www.theherald.co.uk
All the regional local newspapers are also excellent for finding work and a complete list of all the newspapers in Scotland can be found at www.scottishnewspapers.com.
Finding the job can be hard work but there are plenty of organisations out there to help you. Knowing your rights and feeling confident with the necessary paperwork can be daunting but there are organisations to help you.
If you want to come here and run your own business you do not need permission to do so. You will be expected to pay National Insurance and Income tax on your income. To do this you will need to register with HM Revenue and Customs. You can register by calling the Helpline for the Newly Self-Employed on tel: 08459
154515. People who trade as sole traders and are partners within a partnership are treated as self-employed for tax purposes.
In Scotland we are proud of our entrepreneurial culture and support new and growing businesses. The main business support agency is Scottish Enterprise www.scottish-enterprise.com. You can find out more about their services to businesses at http://www.bgateway.com.
Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) give free, confidential, impatial and independent advice on a limitless range of subjects including those related to employment. Visit
www.cas.org.uk/ for more information. When you arrive in Scotland you will find the number of the local office in the phone book or on the website.
If you have a greivance about being paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) you can call the NMW Helpline on 0845 600 0678.
For a guide in Polish about work-related greviences visit
www.adviceguide.org.uk/cab_dealing_with_grievances_polish.pdf (English: www.adviceguide.org.uk/cab_dealing_with_grievances.pdf ) Finding out more
Talk to other Poles and find out more about their experiences. The Scotland-based website run by Poles www.Szkocja.net has a discussion forum and information all about finding work and what you can expect. A number of Scotland’s local authorities have also produced extensive Welcome Guides for their own regions which also include general information about how to get a job. You can find those contacts in the Around Scotland section.
LIVING IN SCOTLAND
This section covers what you need to know about settling in Scotland – how to find somewhere to live, how to open a bank account, transport options and information about healthcare.
The cost of living in Scotland – what you can expect to pay for accommodation, food, transport, utilities and general living expenses – will vary according to where you are.
Generally accommodation is more expensive in cities but your transport costs may be lower.
WHERE TO LIVE
Housing can be a big part of your living expenses and it’s important to do some research into the type of housing you can access and your rights as a tenant.
Your accommodation could be provided by your employer or arranged by an employment agency. It is important you are aware of your rights on what can be deducted from your wages for accommodation. See the Working In Scotland section for links to important information in Polish.
When you first arrive you may want to find short-term accommodation while you look for work and then a more suitable place to live. Choices range from dormitory type facilities, youth hostels and B&B which stands for ‘Bed and Breakfast’ and is
provided in private homes.
www.syha.org.uk (Scottish youth hostels) www.hostelscotland.com
www.visitscotland.com (B&B and guest houses) www.bedandbreakfastscotland.co.uk
Rented properties are available either furnished or unfurnished and usually you pay your rent on a monthly basis.
If you are renting a room in a shared flat or a boarding house you might pay £50-
£80 a week on average.
If you are renting a flat on your own the cost might be £300-£600 a month depending on the size of the property, its location and number of bedrooms.
The cost will be different depending on where you live in Scotland.
You will be asked for a deposit on the rent usually around two months rent but make sure you get a receipt for this and know what the deposit covers and if it is fully refundable at the end of the lease.
More information about properties for rent at:
Private accomodation is advertised in local newspapers and on specialised websites.
For a list of Scottish Newspapers go to www.scottishnewspapers.com.
Remember you’ll be signing a lease or contract for your accomodation known as tenancy or occupancy agreement and you must be aware of what you’re signing. If you are asked to sign a lease, read it first and take it away to study it, asking yourself a series of what if questions: What if the place burns to the ground? What if the landlord comes in when I am not there? What if there is a break-in and my stuff gets stolen? How much notice must the landlord give me if he wants to terminate the lease early?
Even if your arrangement is more informal it is important to get the agreement in writing and to get a rent book to track your rental payments.
Bills and services
Council Tax is usually payable by the owner or occupier of a property. It is paid to the local authority and is used to provide all the community services such as
policing, rubbish collection and council facilities. The amount of tax varies according to where you live. Students in full time education do not have to pay council tax but there are other discounts available and you should check with the local authority if you have a question about the amount you are asked to pay.
Utility bills – gas, electricity, water and telephone.These can be in the landlord’s name and you pay your usage as part of your rent. It is important to see the bills if you’re asked for a portion as there is a limit on what can be passed on to you as the tennant. Whatever the arrangements, agree the meter readings with the landlord at the beginning of the let and again at the end, to avoid any disputes about how much has been used.
If bills are not included then you need to contact the utility providers to make sure the bills are registered in your name and meters are read at the start of your lease. Utility
bills are a useful form of ID as proof of address and can be used in accessing other services such as opening a bank account.
Check the Yellow Pages for supplier information.
If you use a TV or another other device to receive or record TV programmes you are required by law to have a TV Licence. A colour TV Licence costs £131.50 (£44 for a black & white licence) and can be bought from a local Post Office or on-line at www.tvlicensing.co.uk
Sharing with others
You may find a room in shared accommodation or your employer may provide it.
These properties should have a licence from the local authority which guarantees that the accommodation is safe, well-managed and of good quality.
Shared accommodation (House in Multiple Occupation - HMO) is usually where at least three people live there; and belong to three or more families and you share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
You can find a guide at www.scotland.gov.uk/library5/housing/hmogft-00.asp Further help
Scottish Executive site: www.betterrentingscotland.com
A comprehensive Rental Guide can be found on www.s1rental.com including a guide to the law.
Polish information and helpful advice from other Poles can be found on the www.szkocja.net
In Scotland, each local authority either has its own housing or has access to rented housing owned by housing associations. This is commonly known as council or local authority housing. There is often a waiting list for social housing. However, once you know where you are going to be living in Scotland, you can contact your local
authority to find out whether or not you are entitled to council housing and what is available. See the Around Scotland section for contact details.
Making Scotland your permanent home may lead you to want to buy your own property. Scotland has its own property system and buying and selling property in Scotland is different from the rest of the UK. You finance your purchase with a mortgage and there are many different providers of mortgages through banks and building societies who will offer different types of mortgages and loan rates.
The Scottish Executive has produced a leaflet called 'Thinking about Buying'.
Find out more at about Scotland’s property system, average house prices and further links at www.szkocja.eu in the Living section.
If you’re moving belongings over here it is important to make sure your belongings are insured to cover for loss or damage. Once you are here you should buy home insurance to again cover your belongings. When you set up your bank account you will be able to get details of personal insurance packages. Many supermarkets also sell low-cost insurance packages. If your accomodation is “social housing” (see above) your landlord will also be able to give you information on the home insurance schemes that they operate.
Getting to Scotland By air
There are a number of excellent direct flights to Scottish airports from a number of operators:
From Gdansk, Katovice, Warsaw to EDINBURGH www.centralwings.com
From Krakow to Edinburgh (with shuttlebus connections to/from Katowice and Gliwice)
From Krakow and Wroclaw to GLASGOW PRESTWICK www.skyeurope.com
From Gdansk to GLASGOW PRESTWICK www.wizzair.com
If you plan to bring your car then you can take the ferry from Zeebrugge direct to Rosyth which is just north of Edinburgh. For more information contact
www.superfast.com By road
Scotland has a good road network with motorways and dual carriageway roads linking many of the main cities and towns.
Trains are a fast and efficient transport option and the main lines from England run through to Edinburgh and Glasgow with the First Scotrail network providing the cross country and suburban routes.
Find all transport options in Scotland at: www.travelinescotland.com By bus
Within all areas there is a public transport bus network. Buses are frequent and efficient and you can buy tickets on the bus. If you are travelling a route regularly to work then you can buy daily, weekly and monthly passes which bring the cost down.
For longer journeys between cities and to towns in England there are various low- cost bus services.
For more information on all the transport options in Scotland and beyond see www.travelinescotland.com .
Driving in Scotland
If you have a valid Polish driving licence you are allowed to drive in Scotland. Once that licence expires and you have become a resident for work and tax purposes, then you must apply for a British driving licence although you can apply to exchange your current valid licence for a British one at any time if you become resident.
For more information see: www.dvla.gov.uk/drivers/drvingb.htm
If you don’t have a valid driving licence then you must apply for a provisional driving licence and then pass a theory and practical test to gain a full licence.
For all the rules of the road you should read the Highway Code at www.highwaycode.gov.uk
What you need to know about driving
Unless marked otherwise you must drive on the left hand side of the road.
You must have insurance. Every person who drives a vehicle on the road is required by law to be covered by insurance.
Your vehicle needs a test certificate. The MOT test certificate is issued by an authorised vehicle examiner and is valid for twelve months.
You must have a tax disc. If you own a car you must register it with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing agency (DVLA). You buy the tax disc for either six or twelve months and it must be displayed in the vehicle. It is an offence to drive a car without a disc or with a tax disc which is out of date. Tax rates depend on the size and age of car see the DVLA website or ask at a local post office for rates.
Driving offences are taken very seriously in Scotland so do be careful and find out about the laws.
Do not drink and drive.
Do not exceed the speed limit.
Do not talk on a mobile phone while driving.
Seatbelts must be worn and children must be in the appropriate seat restraint.
Strathclyde Police have produced a useful booklet called Stay Safe in Scotland in Polish which includes details on driving and your car. www.strathclyde.police.uk Money and Banking
When you move to Scotland you will need to set up a UK bank account so that you can be paid and pay others. It will also enable you to get a debit card with full Maestro facilities and, if required, a credit card which can be used for safe payment of goods on-line and in stores. The Chip and PIN system is now widespread in Scotland
The British Bankers’ Association produces leaflets to help you understand how to open a bank account:
Not all banks operate the same rules and they offer different rates on savings and other financial products such as mortgages (home loans) and insurances.
To open a bank account you must provide the following information:
Proof of identity (passport, national identity card or national driving licence)
Proof of UK address (tenancy agreement or letter of confirmation from your employer)
Proof of employment is also often required (pay slips, confirmation letter)
If you’ve had a bank account in Poland for a length of time it would also be useful to have a reference from that bank.
Post Offices have branches throughout Scotland and in addition to postal services, provide banking, bill payment, insurance services, currency exchange, television licence, car tax, phone cards and mobile phone top-ups.
Full details can be found on www.postoffice.co.uk Healthcare
Am I entitled to healthcare?
You are generally entitled to free treatment from the UK National Health Service (NHS) but you will need to pay for certain costs (see below). If you are paying social security contributions in Poland then you need the European Health Insurance Card before you come. You can get that from your local NFZ Unit (www.nfz.gov.pl)
If you are accepted as ordinarily resident in the UK and pay UK National Insurance contributions then you don’t need the form and you may claim help with health costs in the same way as other residents. If you are entitled to NHS treatment, your spouse and your children if they’re under 16, or under 19 and still at school, will also be entitled to NHS treatment.
If you are entitled to NHS treatment, the following services are free of charge:
Consulting a GP (General Practitioner) and most other GP services
Treatment in a hospital (both emergency and non-emergency treatment) You may need to pay for:
Medicines prescribed by your GP
Some GP services e.g. travel vaccinations;
Dental treatment (but dental checks are free);
Optical treatment and a contribution to the cost of spectacles and contact lenses (but eye tests are free).
When you arrive and have found your permanent accommodation you should register with a local doctor or GP (general practitioner). Visit
www.show.scot.nhs.uk/findnearest/healthservices/ to find the GPs nearest to where you will be living.
Health advice is also available through NHS24 phone service 24 hours a day. The free phone number to call in Scotland is 08454 24 24 24 . (They can provide a Polish translation service if you are having difficulties explaining your problem. For more information about the service and general health advice visit www.nhs24.com
Registering with a General Practitioner www.nhs.uk
Citizens’ Advice Bureau Advice Guide www.adviceguide.org Emergency Services
In case of emergency the services of the Fire Brigade, Ambulance, Police and Coastguard can be obtained by dialling 999.
Contact your local Police Station for non-emergency enquiries. All Scottish Police Forces have access to interpreters and translation services providing coverage 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Several local police forces have developed information leaflets to help migrant workers coming to live in Scotland. See:
EDUCATION and TRAINING
If you want to continue your studies here in Scotland then it is important you are able to speak and write well in English. There are many colleges which offer day or evening classes in English as a Second Language (ESOL) and you can work towards qualifications approved by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). In some cases your employer can provide English language training for you. The best place to ask advice is to contact your local authority who will give you information on where ESOL classes are held in the community.
For information about learning English in Poland visit the British Council site at www.learnenglish.org.uk
Further education and training
Learn Direct Scotland provides a national data-base on all the training and education opportunities around Scotland. Their website also has job profiles and information on what qualifications are needed for particular jobs.
Applying for university and other further education Courses
Remember, English language skills are vital to access higher education in Scotland.
The Open University in Scotland has produced a useful booklet called “Am I ready to study in English?” Call the Learning Development Team on 0131 226 3851 (in Scotland).
You can assess your own language ability and get a Europass CV and Europass Language Passport which are both standardised formats across Europe for presenting your skills see www.europass.cedefot.eu.int
To make it easier for you to find out more about university and college education in Scotland a new information pack is available and a website which provides details of how to access higher education, financial support, credit transfer facilities, English language courses and much more. There is also information on local resources throughout the regional areas of Scotland. www.diverseroutes.co.uk
To help you understand the qualifications you have and how they compare to
Scottish qualification levels, the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) have provided a comparison table and an overview of the Polish education system. To find out more visit www.sqa.org.uk/poland
For information about studying in the UK see:
All applications for university courses are processed through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service known as UCAS. The UCAS website has a vast amount of information about available courses and links to all the college and university websites. There is an on-line application system, advice and links to where to get financial support. See www.ucas.com/studyuk/index.html. If you decide to apply for a college place, you should contact the college directly.
Polish nationals are entitled to free tuition just as Scottish students are when studying full-time at a university or college. Most college courses are part-time and you will be charged a fee unless you have a low income. You may be eligible for some financial support with living expenses if you’ve been working here and then decide to study. If you come to Scotland with the express purpose of going to university then you may not normally be allowed living expenses support. You can check what your eligible to receive to support study at university at www.student- support-saas.gov.uk/ and click on Eligibility on the right. For more details on funding at colleges check out the college where you want to study. Contact details for all Scottish Colleges can be found at www.ascol.org.uk...
It is important to know how much it will cost you to live and study here. Most university and college websites have a section for international students which will give you an average cost for accommodation, food, transport and other general living expenses. You can also work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) while studying and will be entitled to the minimum wage.
Scotland welcomes your family and your children. Every child resident in Scotland has a right to a free place at school. Compulsory education is from age five to sixteen and parents are legally responsible for ensuring that their children are educated so it’s important you register your child with the local authority where you’re living. Local authorities are responsible for the majority of schools in Scotland although there are also private or fee-paying schools. Some parents want their children to be educated in a denominational school - most of these schools are Roman Catholic. Denominational schools are run in the same way as other education authority schools, except that teachers appointed to denominational schools must be approved by the denominational body concerned.
Pre-school from age three to four. All three and four year olds are entitled to a free, part-time pre-school place. Please note that infant childcare can be
expensive. To find your nearest facility visit www.childcarelink.gov.uk call free on 08000 96 02 96.
Primary School from age five to twelve. (P1-P7)
Secondary School from age twelve to sixteen. (S1-S4) At this stage they take a Standard Grade exam.
At 16+ courses are offered at Intermediate, Higher and Advanced Higher which are the main qualifications for entry into colleges and universities.
If you are on a low income and your child is 16 they may be entitled to an Education Maintenance Allowance. For eligibility and details of the programme see www.emascotland.com.
For more information about the Scottish education system see:
www. scotland.gov.uk/About/Departments/ED www.eurydice.org
Polish Saturday Schools and After Hours Clubs
These schools enable Polish children to continue with their Polish language education and culture. Contact the local Polish Associations for more details (see Useful Contacts).
The British Council is also working with the local authorities to provide after hours Polish clubs for local communities. Please contact your local authority in Scotland for more details.
TIME OFF – LEISURE AND CULTURE IN SCOTLAND
Scotland is a diverse country offering so many opportunities and experiences to make your life here more than just where you work. Its towns and cities are full of cultural experiences, sports opportunities and lively music and theatre. The
countryside offers exciting outdoor activities - mountain climbing, skiing, hill walking, mountain biking and so much more.
Take a look at the visitscotland website – it’s not just for tourists but for all of us who want to enjoy our country to the full. Explore the land, its diverse regions and its people. www.visitscotland.com
See also: http://www.visitbritain.com/VB3-pl- PL/destinationguides/Scotland/index.aspx
Scotland has a fascinating history – to find out more:
History of Scotland in Polish Author: Stefan Zabieglik
Title: “Historia Szkocji (The History of Scotland) Publisher: Wydawnictwo DJ sc
Gdańsk-Wrzeszcz, ul. Fiszera 4A Poland
Tel/fax: (00 48 58) 346 14 09
Author’s web page: www.zie.pg.gda.pl/~szab/
Events & Festivals
Many events on Scotland's cultural calendar reflect the activities and interests of its varied regions. In spite of the country's small size, it plays host to the world's largest and most famous arts festival, the Edinburgh International Festival. Elsewhere, coastal communities have seafood or boat festivals or gala days, while farming towns and communities meet together for annual agricultural shows, as part of a thriving rural tradition.
Highland culture is acknowledged in the many Highland games and gatherings which take place throughout Scotland. And the country's Highland heritage takes many other forms, including the annual Highland Festival, a celebration of the arts in the north of Scotland. At the other end of the country, the colourful spectacle of the Common Ridings take place in several towns throughout the Border counties.
Find out more:
Sport and outdoor activities
Find out more:
Walking: www.walkingwild.com Cycling: www.cyclingscotland.com Golf: golfvisitscotland.com
Water sports: www.sailscotland.co.uk Snow sports: ski.visitscotland.com Other useful links
Sporting activites in Scotland: www.visitscotland.com Get involved with sport in Scotland: www.sisport.com
Sport and leisure in your local authority area (select your local authority and read the Sport or Leisure section): www.cosla.gov.uk
To find information about each region of Scotland visit some of the local authority websites listed here – some of which have Welcome Packs in Polish. Further information can also be found at:
THE NORTH EAST www.aberdeencity.gov.uk
Welcome packs with comprehensive details on living and working in the region.
www.argyll-bute.gov.uk www.clacks.gov.uk www.dundeecity.gov.uk www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk www.eastlothian.gov.uk www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk www.edinburgh.gov.uk www.falkirk.gov.uk www.fife.gov.uk www.glasgow.gov.uk www.inverclyde.gov.uk www.midlothian.gov.uk www.northlan.gov.uk www.pkc.gov.uk
www.renfrewshire.gov.uk www.soutlanarkshire.gov.uk www.stirling.gov.uk
THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS
www.highland.gov.uk www.orkney.gov.uk www.shetland.gov.uk www.cne-siar.gov.uk www.highland.gov.uk
SOUTHERN SCOTLAND www.east-ayrshire.gov.uk www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk www.scotborders.gov.uk www.thenaturalplace.co.uk www.dumgal.gov.uk
The British Embassy Al. Roz 1
00-556 Warszawa tel: (+48 22) 311 00 00
Email: email@example.com www.britishembassy.pl
The British Council
Al. Jerozolimskie 59,00-697 Warsaw Rynek Glowny 6, 31-042 Krakow Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.britishcouncil.org/pl/poland.htm In Scotland
You will find details of the Relocation Advisory Service on www.szkocja.eu . www.scotlandistheplace.com
THE POLISH COMMUNITY IN SCOTLAND
One of the best ways of finding out about working and living in Scotland is from Poles already here. Two major websites will give you a wealth of information:
www.sikorskipolishclub.org.uk Consulate General in Edinburgh 2 Kinnear Road
Edinburgh EH3 5PE tel: (+44 131) 552 0301 fax: (+44 131) 552 1086
Email: email@example.com Website: www.polishconsulate.org On-line community for Poles in Scotland www.szkocja.net
Scottish Polish Cultural Association in Edinburgh www.scotpoles.co.uk
The Sikorski Polish Club in Glasgow www.sikorskipolishclub.org.uk Polish Association in Aberdeen
Chairman; Mr Andrzej Medwid 33 Brunswick Place
Aberdeen AB11 7TF Tel: 01224 583681
Zjednoczenie Polskie w Wielkiej Brytanii (Federation of Poles in Great Britain) www.zpwb.org.uk
Polish Association in Inverness
For further information phone : 07979423140 Glasgow
The Polish Community in the UK www.londynek.net
Zjednoczenie Polskie w Wielkiej Brytanii (Federation of Poles in Great Britain) www.zpwb.org.uk
Dziennik Polski (Polish Daily) www.dziennikpolski.co.uk
It is the oldest Polish daily newspaper issued without a break since 1940 and the only Polish daily in Europe outside Poland. It was established in London in 1940 by Polish Government in Exile.
Polish Express www.polishexpress.co.uk
The only Polish Monthly issued in English and Polish (in London) Goniec Polski www.goniec.com
It is a weekly, free of charge magazine, available in London and in Polish centres around the UK including Polish shops in Scotland.
A weekly lifestyle and news magazine distributed in London
Radio hey now weekly programme from Glasgow. www.radioheynow.com For information about the programme see the local site for the Glasgow Polish
Community www.glasgow24.pl Radio Orla www.radio-orla.com
Church and religion
With an ever growing Polish community in Scotland there are now many
opportunities to celebrate mass in Polish in most of the major cities and some rural communities. The churches are important centres for the Polish communities and they organise social events and some Saturday clubs and schools for children.
In the major cities there are weekly Polish masses, in other places monthly. For a full list of masses held in Scotland visit: www.szkocja.net
Fr Marian Lekawa SAC
Head of Polish Catholic Mission in Scotland 4 Parkgrove Terrace
Glasgow G3 7SD
Tel: (+44 141) 339 9163
For links to churches and communities of other religions see www.szkocja.eu Statutory Bank Holidays In Scotland
The following are the statutory or bank holidays for Scotland and are different from the rest of the UK. In addition there are local or public holidays each determined by the local authority. Please remember that not everyone is entitled to a holiday on the actual bank holiday dates. This will be determined by the employment contract.
New Year’s Day 2nd January Good Friday
Early May Bank Holiday
Spring Bank Holiday (late May) Summer Bank Holiday (early August) Christmas Day
Boxing Day (26th December)