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Schools and teachers thanked for crisis response

Swansea Council has thanked teachers for going "above and beyond" during the coronavirus crisis as schools prepare to safely welcome more pupils back on Monday.

School Classroom (after Coronavirus)

Since mid-March many schools have been operating as childcare hubs to ensure that critical workers on the frontline of the response to the pandemic could attend work.

Not only did they remain open during the Easter holidays and half-term but weekend cover was offered as well.

Teachers have also been in contact with pupils during the lockdown checking on their wellbeing and setting school work remotely.

Some have also contributed online lessons to the council's Swansea Virtual School which has been a learning resource available to all pupils.

Teachers and school staff have also been involved in preparing and distributing free school meals to those families who qualify.

Many schools joined forces to use their equipment and skills to produce tens of thousands of items of PPE for hospitals, social services, businesses, care settings and community use.

Councillor Jennifer Raynor, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Education, Learning and Skills, said: "The next three weeks will see many pupils return to their schools for the first time since mid-March but our schools and their staff have been very busy while they have been away.

"As well as setting work and keeping in contact with their pupils, teachers have volunteered to keep the emergency childcare settings running so that other frontline workers have been able to do their jobs at such a crucial time.

"Once again many of our schools and their staff have gone above and beyond in Swansea and I would like to once again thank them for this.

"I would also like to wish them well for Monday when all our schools will be open, but unfortunately it will not be a return to school as we knew it prior to Covid-19.

"Headteachers and their leadership teams have done a lot of preparation work but the numbers of pupils able to attend each day will be limited.

"Schools will have contacted parents directly to let them know which days their children will be offered 'Check in, Catch-up and Prepare' sessions and young people should only attend on the days these are arranged for them.

"It is important to stress that attendance is not compulsory as I know that some parents and guardians will not feel the time is right for their child to attend. They are not at risk of a fine should they take this view.

"But our schools have been working very hard with our education directorate to make sure appropriate measures are in place to enable a safe return for those pupils who do attend.

"Again, I would like to thank our schools and teachers for their hard work on achieving this."

The council has published a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) which are regularly updated and can be found at https://www.swansea.gov.uk/covid19schoolsandcolleges.

Please take a look at these first. If they do not address your questions, please contact your child's school or you can email the council's Education Directorate at coronavirusenquiries@swansea.gov.uk

Anyone wishing to speak to someone in a language other than English or Welsh can email EMAU@swansea.gov.uk with their phone number and the name of the language.

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