Dyddiad/Date: 9th July 2020
We know the past few months have been difficult for you and your children, with many anxious about loss of learning and not being able to see their friends. That is why we welcome the Education Minister’s plan which will enable the Local Authority to prepare for the safe reopening of the schools that can do so in the first week of September, with all schools to return the following week.
At the outset, we want to share as much information as we can with you to understand the arrangements that will be in place from September.
Planning and preparation days will need to take place at the start of term to review risk assessment, processes and systems to ensure individual schools can welcome pupils back safely.
Some specific groups of learners might need to be prioritised first such as Early Years, Years 6, 7, and 11. However, you will receive more specific information from your school and the Local Authority as it becomes available. This will include information about school meals as well as any changes to start and finishing times.
Given the current extraordinary circumstances, we know hard working staff in schools, learners and their families may well be under additional emotional, financial and psychological pressure. The Local Authority continues to work closely with schools and settings to consider how best to support the ongoing well-being needs of all learners at this time.
Once all children and young people are back in, which will be 14th September at the latest, school attendance will be compulsory. Parents are asked to contact their school if a pupil is unable to attend for any legitimate reason.
Each school setting will have local challenges to address, including the availability of staffing. Work is underway with colleagues to confirm school transport arrangements. The Local Authority and schools will work closely to overcome and resolve such issues. Please keep an eye on the Local Authority’s social media platforms which will be updated with further information as soon as it becomes available.
We recognise that reopening schools in the current climate is challenging. Local authorities and schools are committed to work together to ensure that learners can continue to learn safely. Welsh Government has also made £29m available to support schools to recover.
Finally, we would like to thank you. These past few months have placed additional stresses on everyone, but particularly for parents and carers who have had to quickly adjust to educating their children at home at a time which is already very challenging.
We will continue to keep in touch.
CHIEF OFFICER (LEARNING)