Update (5th February 2020)
Update (29th January 2020)
Childcare Places Update
I’m really sorry to be writing this but I need to do my best to keep everyone safe - pupils, parents, staff and the wider community. We started our emergency childcare classes and remote learning last week. The criteria for an emergency childcare place is:
1: Your child must be school age and registered to a Caerphilly school.
2: One parent must be a critical worker.
3: Where there is a 2nd parent or adult in the household they must also be a critical worker and must be required to attend the workplace (e.g. not working from home) and the child cannot be safely cared for at home.
4: You must reside within Caerphilly borough.
Initially, we contacted everyone who had gone through the Local Authority application process and offered them a place. We were trying to be fair and help everyone out who genuinely needed childcare. We offered as many days as requested. However, with being helpful our numbers requiring a childcare place have increased significantly. This is defeating the “stay at home” message and putting more children, staff and families at risk. Movement and interactions need to be minimal.
We are now going through all applications in detail as there may be some confusion with the criteria. We are aware that some parents have not provided all the required information e.g. both parents details have not been provided or in some instances parents may have provided incorrect information.
To be clear - if there are two parents / adults in the household BOTH need to be critical workers and BOTH should be working in the workplace and not from home. If one or both parents / adults are actually working from home then you are not entitled to a childcare place. We are also aware that some parents work part time but have requested full time childcare or one sibling is coming into school and the other sibling staying at home etc.
Please can you contact us urgently in order to clarify the details you provided and exact need for a childcare place. We will be starting to contact parents from tomorrow.
Apologies for having to write this but I’m only trying to keep everybody as safe as possible and be as fair as possible.
Reopening School Update 3 (8th January 2021)
I would rather be writing a different welcome to 2021 but we once again find ourselves having to undertake remote learning until at least 1st February 2021. Late last night, the Education Minister confirmed that schools will not operate full face to face teaching with all pupils until at least 1st February 2021 - after the next formal review on Friday 29th January 2021. Remote learning has now been extended beyond 18th January 2021. The Education Minister also said that if cases do not significantly drop by 29th January 2021 then schools will continue with remote learning until at least the first week back after half term (after the next formal review). Ultimately, we need to be prepared to go to half term with remote learning. Like many other Headteachers, I only found out this information late last night. It is certainly a challenging start to the New Year but ultimately we need to keep as many people as safe as possible. The number of cases and deaths in Wales and the UK are very high and our NHS is becoming overwhelmed. Hopefully, further restrictions due to be announcement by the First Minister today will have an impact on bringing down cases. Remember – please stay at home as much as possible.
Reopening School Update 2 (4th January 2021)
It has been confirmed this evening by Welsh Government that schools will not reopen to all pupils until at least 18th January 2021. We will now continue with Plan 5 and learning will be online everyday from 9am. The next few weeks are going to be challenging for us all - please stay safe and be prepared for further announcements next week. When I know more I will of course keep you informed.
Please see the latest letter from Keri Cole (Chief Education Officer - CCBC) on the Caerphilly website.
Reopening School Update (4th January 2021)
As promised here is my update regarding Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week. Following a meeting with Headteachers and the Local Authority this morning it has been agreed that all Primary Schools will be operating Home Learning for this week and therefore we will only have key worker children in school on Wednesday 6th, Thursday 7th and Friday 8th January 2021. We have contacted some key worker parents today with our arrangements and will continue making contact tomorrow morning. Staff will be online everyday from 9am everyday to deliver Home Learning for all children.
There will be further meetings this week with Local Authorities and Welsh Government regarding next week and beyond and I will keep you updated as soon as any further decisions have been made. To be open an honest I would be prepared for Home Learning to continue until at least 18th January 2020 - I stress this is not confirmed but I’d rather you all be prepared. I will confirm future arrangements when decisions have been made but please be prepared for Home Learning to continue for the foreseeable future. A letter from the Keri Cole (Chief Education Officer CCBC) will be available on the CCBC website later this afternoon.
Take care and stay safe everyone
Reopening School Update (3rd January 2021)
Welcome back and a Happy New Year to you all. Apologies for sending a message on a Sunday but I thought many would appreciate some communication as the reopening of schools has featured heavily in the media. At this precise moment in time I really don’t know what may happen although I would urge everyone to be prepared for whatever may come our way. The coming weeks are going to be particularly challenging for us all.
What I do know is what I outlined before Christmas - Home learning will begin tomorrow (Monday 4th January 2021) for all children - teachers will be in touch this evening and will be online from 9am tomorrow and Tuesday.
From Wednesday 6th January 2021 there are ultimately two possibilities:
1: All children will begin to attend school and home learning will pause. We are aware children who were previously shielding have already received or will receive a letter instructing them to shield again. We will be in touch tomorrow to confirm as we have details from parents of those children previously shielding.
2: Only Key Worker children (will attend school (possibly in school based hubs) and home learning will continue for everyone for at least the next couple of weeks. We will contact all Key Worker applications tomorrow (Monday 4th) to confirm details / applications.
We also know the new variant of Covid-19 is much more transmissible and it is important that we follow the science and make decisions to protect not just our children but their families and every member of our school community including staff. As a result of the current data (that is extremely high in Caerphilly and our local area) - Option 2 is a real possibility.
There are meetings planned with Local Authority, Welsh Government and Unions over the coming days that will hopefully provide some answers and a clear direction for the coming weeks. I will provide a further update as early as I can tomorrow following a meeting with the Local Authority and confirm what will be happening from 6th January 2021.
I’m sorry I do not have answers or a clear direction at the moment. Things are happening very quickly on an hour by hour basis. I am telling you what I know at this time but urging you to be prepared. I will be in touch again tomorrow. Welcome back everyone and please stay safe.