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Youngest pupils set for return to school

Parents and carers are being urged to play their part in helping a return to school run as smoothly as possible for Swansea's youngest pupils.


The Welsh Government has announced pupils in the Foundation Phase (3 to 7-year-olds) should start returning to class during the week beginning Monday February 22.

In Swansea the Monday and Tuesday will be used by schools as planning days with some pupils returning from the Wednesday and all Foundation Phase year groups starting to return by Friday 26 February.

Each school will contact parents and carers directly with the arrangements that apply to them.

Older primary and secondary school pupils will continue with learning from home.

Swansea Council's Director of Education, Helen Morgan-Rees, has written to all parents and carers this week to ask for their support.

During the autumn term some classes had to self-isolate due to a pupil or member of staff testing positive for coronavirus.

Mrs Morgan-Rees said measures would again be in place to minimise any risk inside schools to keep pupils and staff safe.

She said it was equally important families continued to follow lockdown restrictions outside of school to keep any further disruption to a minimum.

This included not mixing outside school, not holding parties or sleep-overs in the evenings or at weekends and adults following social distancing rules when dropping off or collecting their children.

Mrs Morgan-Rees said: "We are particularly grateful to parents and pupils alike who have followed the public and school rules and regulations for keeping safe.

"Everybody's efforts have paid off and community transmission of Covid-19 is clearly falling.

"I cannot emphasise enough how important it is that we all keep sticking to the rules so that we can focus on schooling our 3-7 year olds.

"Please help us by ensuring social distancing, thinking twice before sharing lifts to schools, holding parties, sharing childcare, mixing on the way to school, whilst on school premises or afterwards.

"All parents and visitors to school sites must wear a face covering. Parents should also avoid gathering at the school gate and should arrive as close as they can to their agreed drop off and collection time.

"Please act responsibly as not doing so could spoil the return to school for the rest of the spring term."

During the first week back children will need to take a packed lunch with them as school kitchens will not open until Monday March 1.

Schools will not operate breakfast or afterschool clubs or any other activities that mix bubbles during the initial return phase.

Primary schools will continue to provide critical care for older pupils but parents are reminded that this should only be used after all other options have been exhausted.

Teachers will continue to deliver home learning for Years 3 to 6.

Mrs Morgan-Rees added: "Our headteachers want nothing more than seeing a safe return to education.

"It has been a challenging time as schools have juggled with onsite and offsite learning.

"Teachers and teaching assistants have tried their best to adapt to different ways of working and to keep learning going.

"This has not been easy for anyone but schools and teachers have again risen to the challenge with professionalism and resilience."

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