Posted on: Friday 19 June 2020
Following the Education Minister’s announcement that schools will reopen on the 29th June for children to check in and catch up with their teachers, Torfaen Council have been working closely with all schools to make the necessary arrangements for a safe return.
Schools will be writing to every pupil to outline the individual offer to children and the changes to how their school will need to operate to keep everyone safe. Each school has now carried out a detailed risk assessment to guide the plans for a safe return for pupils and staff and is ensuring they are complying with national and local guidance. These arrangements will be a little different for each school as they will take account of the number of rooms, the availability of staff, the numbers of children who want to return and lots of other factors that need to be taken into account.
The check in and catch up time slots allocated to each returning child will provide an opportunity for children and young people to attend schools in order that they can be supported in their wellbeing and learning.
The arrangements will vary from school to school but will typically focus on responding to pupils’ emotional health and wellbeing needs and on ensuring that there is continuity between school-based support and home learning.
In order to minimise movement around schools at lunchtime, catering facilities will not be reopened in schools for the remainder of this term. This means there will be no school dinners or any food available to purchase in school. All children who attend must bring their packed lunch and a drink with them every day they attend.
All schools will open each day at their usual school opening hours and schools will inform pupils which days/dates they should attend as well their start and finish times. To minimise the numbers of people coming onto school sites only one parent/carer should accompany the children from each family group.
Cllr Richard Clark, Executive Member for Education said: “While schools will not be the same as children remember and they will notice lots of differences upon their return, as a school community we are looking forward to having the children back in schools in the coming few weeks.
“I would like to thank every family for the support you have given your children for the educational support you have been providing over the past three months. While we are all grateful that the current public health crisis has improved to enable a limited return to school, it is unlikely that schools will return to the way they were operated prior to the lockdown for some considerable time. We need to approach the check in, catch up arrangements as first steps towards inspiring and exciting pupils about learning once again. As we receive more guidance from Welsh Government on the plans for education from September onwards we will keep you informed of what we will be doing in Torfaen.”
A list of Return to School Frequently Asked Questions are available here.