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Pupils to return to school in September

Swansea Council has written to the parents of thousands of pupils to update them on returning to school after the summer break.

School Classroom (after Coronavirus)

Measures are being put in place over the summer to prepare school facilities for the return which will see all pupils back in school full-time by September 14.

Kirsty Williams, Welsh Government Minister for Education, announced the decision yesterday which will see pupils across Wales returning in a graduated way from September 1 ahead of lessons resuming fully by the middle of the month.

Jennifer Raynor, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning said city schools and the council have made substantial progress in preparing for a return in September.

She said: "I want to thank schools, teachers, staff, pupils, parents and carers for their incredible support over the past few months.

"We know it has been difficult for learners with many anxious about loss of classroom time and not being able to see their friends. This experience has 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.

"That's why we welcome the minister's plan to see a safe re-opening of schools in the first week of September with all learners returning by September 14. There is still work to do to prepare the way forward and schools will be keeping parents updated with information on arrangements specific to them.

"We want to reassure everyone that we will be working closely with schools to ensure that the return to school is in line with all necessary safety measures and Welsh Government guidance."

The ministerial announcement means that it will be compulsory for pupils to attend school from September 14.

Each school will have local challenges to address, including the availability of staffing. Work is underway to confirm school transport arrangements.

Cllr Raynor said: "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.

"The Welsh Government has also acknowledged that pupils' learning has been severely disrupted by the crisis and it has pledged £29m to recruit more teachers to support the recovery phase, minimise the impacts on pupils, and continue the ongoing work to raise school standards."

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