SOME of Swansea’s youngest pupils start to return to school today (February 24)) with parents and carers being urged to play their part in helping to support the process.
In line with Welsh Government guidance pupils in the Foundation Phase (3 to 7-year-olds) are going back into class this week.
Each school will have contacted parents and carers directly with the arrangements that apply to them.
Older primary and secondary school pupils will continue with learning from home for now and their families will be contacted directly before any change is made.
As has been the case throughout lockdown schools will remain open for the children of critical workers but this provision is limited and not guaranteed and should only be accessed when all other options have been exhausted.
Swansea Council’s Director of Education, Helen Morgan-Rees, has written to all parents and carers asking for their support.
She 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 this 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.