Powys schools to move to blended learning next week

classroom

11 December 2020

classroomPrimary and special schools and pupil referral units in Powys will move to blended learning early next week, Powys County Council has announced.

But they will remain open until Friday 18 December for vulnerable learners including pupils entitled to free school meals.  There will also be provision for children who have a parent that works in the NHS or in social care and they are unable to make alternative arrangements within their extended household.

Following representation from primary school, special school and pupil referral unit headteachers, consideration of attendance figures, the rising number of coronavirus cases and the 10 days rule on isolation before Christmas, Powys County Council has decided to move primary and special schools to blended learning, which will come in from Tuesday 15 December.

The county's secondary schools will switch to online learning from Monday 14 December in line with the announcement made by Wales' Education Minister Kirsty Williams yesterday (Thursday 10 December).

School transport will continue as normal until Friday 18 December.

Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education, said: "Our schools have done an outstanding job in keeping education going this term while also ensuring that the school environment is as safe as it possibly can be.

"However, given the current circumstances, the right thing to do is to move all schools in Powys to blended learning.

"Our primary and special schools and pupil referral units remain open until Friday 18 December but only for our vulnerable learners or if a parent works in the NHS or in social care and they are unable to make alternative arrangements within their extended household.

"I cannot emphasise enough that children need to be at home and learning until 18 December. It is vital that children not in school do not go out meeting up with groups of friends but stay at home and minimise contact. Coronavirus rates in Powys are rising and if children and young people are out and mixing freely it will only make matters worse.

"This has been a difficult decision to take but one that we hope parents and carers can understand. I urge the people of Powys to do their bit to fight coronavirus and to keep themselves and their families safe.

"I would like to place on record my sincere gratitude to headteachers and school staff across Powys for keeping schools running safely and securely throughout this difficult year."

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