IMPORTANT – Start of school, January 2021, letter from RCT

Dear Parent/Carer,

With transmission levels continuing to increase across Wales, and uncertainty over the potential impact on school staffing levels over the Christmas break, I am writing to advise you that there is a need to build some flexibility into the start of spring term arrangements.

Schools will be closed to learners on January 4th & 5th 2021, when there will be an opportunity to assess staffing levels and plan for the transition of learners back into school. All schools will plan to get priority learners back to school from the 6th onwards, with the exception that all schools will be providing face to face learning for the majority of their pupils by January 11th, leading to a full return in the days before January 18th at the latest.

Where a school has moved to remote learning because of exceptional and specific local circumstances, schools will be expected to make special arrangements for vulnerable learners and the children of critical workers to attend. In these circumstances, vulnerable learner provision will be made in all schools for high priority children
• that have additional learning needs
• are looked after
• are young carers
• are in need of care and support
• with child protection needs

Critical worker provision for will only be made available in primary schools, special schools or PRUs when a setting is not open to all year groups. You child’s school will notify you on Monday January 4th if this offer is available for the following eligible workers:
• Blue light workers, including NHS, Police, Ambulance and Fire
Service staff
• Healthcare workers
• Childcare or education staff

The plan to return to schools in January will give some certainty, whilst also allowing for flexibility to take into account of local circumstances. These measures are required to protect our children, staff and communities to ensure that we minimise disruption to our children’s education.
Teachers, school staff, learners, parents and carers’ response has been remarkable throughout this pandemic and I thank you for your continued patience and support.

Best wishes for a safe Christmas.

Yours sincerely,
Gaynor Davies
Director of Education and Inclusion Services