Please find below the recent letter shared this afternoon by the Director of Education, Nic Batchelor. You will note the letter has important information about deadlines for applications for keyworker childcare. The St Joseph's restart plan will be shared with you ASAP.
Dear Parents and Carers
The Minister for Education in Wales has set out expectations that all children and young people in Wales should have some opportunities to attend their school in the remaining weeks of the summer term from Monday 29th June.
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
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:
Hub Key Worker Childcare
This childcare provision will cease from 26 June, with all schools offering some childcare from 29 June. Unfortunately we cannot accept any new key worker applications for our current Hub settings for capacity reasons.
Any applications for key worker childcare already received, including those from school staff, will be considered alongside any new applications in relation to available provision in schools or pre-school settings from 29 June.
School Age Key Worker Childcare
As of 29 June the hours for the key worker childcare service offered in schools will be from 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
Key worker childcare applications submitted by 9am on Friday 19 June will be given priority for the next intake for key worker childcare from 29 June. Any applications received after this date will be considered in subsequent allocation rounds.
The Council and schools will endeavor to provide key worker childcare where possible, but there is limited availability as schools focus on ‘Check in, Catch Up, Prepare’, and we are therefore unable to guarantee places for all eligible children. The offer of a place will be confirmed by your local school.
Pre-School Key Worker Childcare
Pre-school childcare applications will continue in line with the existing online application process.
Parents and carers will be required to confirm work hours and working patterns, so that a place can be offered. These details will be confirmed with your employer. It is important that you only apply for childcare that you need, as the funding to cover costs is being provided through the repurposing of an existing grant. Funding is not available for school aged children under this scheme and all places must be essential for the COVID-19 response. The Council will endeavor to provide key worker childcare where possible, but there is limited availability and a place cannot be guaranteed.