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Updates from the Director of Education at Cardiff Council

June 2020

To: Parents/Carers

Dear Parents and Carers
The Minister for Education in Wales

remaining weeks of the summer term from Monday 29th June.

has set out expectations that all children and

young people in Wales should have some opportunities to attend their school in the

The focus of these sessions in school will be to “check in, catch up and prepare for

summer and September.”

Since all schools closed for statutory education on 23 March, learning at home has been supported remotely by schools, and this will continue. I would like to thank all of you for your contribution during this difficult period. It is unlikely that schools will return to the way they were before lockdown for some considerable time. The planned arrangements for the final weeks of term are therefore intended to support the ongoing

mix of school and home-based learning.

To help schools plan for pupils to return safely from 29 June, the Welsh Government has published guidance, ‘Keep Education Safe'. This provides practical and learning guidance on preparing schools for a phased return up to the end of the summer term.

In each school there will be a phased approach. Year groups will be split into small groups with staggered starts and breaks and it is expected that this will mean, at most, a third of pupils present at any one time, including the children of key workers who were previously looked after in our hub schools. Hub childcare will cease from 26 June. From 29 June all schools will be able to provide some childcare for the children of keyworkers, but the extent of this will necessarily be limited by the need to provide spaces for the planned sessions for other learners as well. Further details on this are at the end of this letter.

Not all learners will return at once and, when they do return, the school day might start and end at different times for different learners. This may include different arrangements for siblings of different ages, attending the same school.

When your child returns to school, there will be a focus upon pupil wellbeing and on ensuring continuity between school-based and home learning. In secondary schools, there may be a greater focus, in some year groups, on supporting pupils’ learning, in anticipation of the academic demands of the forthcoming school year.

Schools would like to see all of their pupils return for some session during this ‘check in’ period. If parents/carers decide not to send their children to school during these weeks of the summer term, they will not be penalised. Because of the Welsh

Government social distancing requirements our home to school transport will be significantly restricted. All parents are encouraged wherever possible to use their own transport to get children to school if they cannot walk or bike.

Cardiff Council is working closely with schools to ensure that they can manage the safe return of pupils and staff, and limit the spread of the virus by operating in physically distanced environments.

Measures will include:

  •   New health & safety procedures to include space capacity assessments and risk assessments to establish volume, appropriate furniture lay-out, movement of pupils and management of external spaces

  •   Hygiene and cleaning to establish a regime for hand washing, contact point cleaning and deep cleaning of school spaces

  •   Workforce capacity assessments to ensure adequate staffing and staff

preparation and support

  •   Identifying equipment and additional resources such as PPE and its use, based on clear and informed advice

  •   Additional support for the health and well-being of pupils and school staff

  •   Widening of pavements and pathways at some school sites to facilitate safe

    social distancing at arrival and departure times

  •   Introduction of temporary 20mph limits on roads around schools where possible and consideration of temporary road closures at drop-off and pick up times

It should be noted that schools will not be providing meals so children will be expected to arrive with a packed lunch. For children eligible for free school meals, the e-voucher and parent pay systems will continue to be in place.

Schools will communicate their plans for the restart from the 29th June to all parents. The Council will shortly issue a series of Frequently Asked Questions which pupils, parents and carers may be asking.

For more information about The Welsh Government’s guidance to schools please go to: https://gov.wales/education-coronavirus

Yours sincerely

Nick Batchelar
Director of Education and Lifelong Learning/ Cyfarwyddwr Addysg a Dysgu Gydol Oes

Key Worker Childcare

Childcare places for key workers are limited and key workers that are critical to the COVID-19 response are advised that childcare provision should only be used if there is no other safe, alternative form of childcare available.

The application forms for key worker childcare can be found here:

https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/ENG/Your-Council/Strategies-plans-and- policies/Emergency-Planning-and-Resilience/coronavirus-information/key-worker- childcare/Pages/default.aspx.

Hub Key Worker Childcare

This childcare provision will cease from 26 June

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