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Parents updated on plans for September school return

Swansea Council is working with all of its schools to plan a safe and organised return of all pupils in September.


Although approaches will vary among schools, all pupils will be able to resume full time education by September 14, in line with last week's Welsh Government announcement.

The council's Director of Education Nick Williams has written to all parents and carers as schools break-up for the summer holiday outlining progress made to date.

Parents and pupils are being asked to stay in touch with schools over the summer for the latest information as the situation develops.

Mr Williams said: "As was the case when schools opened for the check-in and catch-up sessions there will be different approaches across our schools based on a lot of different factors.

"Each school is carrying out a further risk assessments to help them identify the approach that is right for your child's school. However, we have agreed further key principles with our headteachers to ensure that wherever possible there is consistency.

"All pupils will return in a phased way to school in the two-week period at the beginning of the autumn term in September and all pupils, with the possible exception of nursery, will be full-time by Monday, 14 September."

He said the key points so far are: 

·       From September, school sessions, where possible, will be provided within the normal operational hours of that school.

·       Where possible, and based on each individual school's risk assessment, breakfast clubs and after-school clubs can restart.

·       School meals will restart on 14 September. Until that time all pupils will need to bring a packed lunch for the first two weeks of term. The BACS payments and weekly food parcels will continue for this period.

·       Additional cleaning hours will allow more frequent cleaning of high frequency contact points in each school.

·       Where possible, parents and carers should continue to travel with their children to and from school. The council's Transport Team is working with schools to determine the demand for home to school transport for eligible pupils and will endeavour to meet these requirements. The wearing of face masks is likely to be compulsory but further information will be communicated via your school and the Council's various platforms over the summer.

·       All children will be encouraged to wash their hands regularly with soap and water throughout the day/session. Hand sanitizer will also be available.

·       As well as a thorough daily clean, a "clean as you go" process will continue to be deployed in all schools to minimise the risk of cross contamination and transmission of Covid-19.

Mr Williams added: "Since the beginning of the pandemic the work of our head teachers, school staff and the wider school community has made me immensely proud.

"From providing childcare to our key workers and our most vulnerable to ensuring that all our learners have food on the table our staff have been willing to go the extra mile. At the same time they have ensured that our learners have continued to learn from home.

"For our learners this will have been a period in time that will define their generation. I would like to thank them for how they have approached this strange time in their learning and make a promise to them that the whole Education system in Swansea is on their side as we continue to ensure that every child and young person has the best possible opportunities in life.

"Finally, I'd like to thank parents and carers. The messages of support and challenge have been numerous and I can assure you that they have all played a part in how we as a council have adapted our approaches throughout this time.

"We will continue to work with our schools to ensure that you and your children get the support that you need when we return to school in September."

Schools will be communicating directly with parents and carers in the run-up to the new term with the arrangements specific to their child.

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