I would like to begin my note by thanking you for your support and patience over the past ten weeks. I am also grateful to you all for the work you have done to support your child’s learning at home since schools closed in March.
Following the Minister for Education’s announcement yesterday, and although local authorities in Wales are awaiting further detail, I am sure that you are keen to know what the next few weeks will look like as far as schools in Bridgend are concerned.
We now know that some learners will be back in schools from 29 June and the school term will be extended by one week until 27 July. The Minister also announced that the autumn half-term break (October holidays) will be extended to two weeks. Whether this extra week will be the week commencing 19 October or 2 November is yet to be determined.
When schools reopen, they will not operate in the same way as they have done in the past. There will be far fewer learners in each classroom and, much in the same way as your child has accessed work over the past few months, schools will continue to provide personalised online learning opportunities for all learners.
Over the next two weeks, your child’s school will contact you to let you know how learners will return to school. It is important to note that learners will return to school on a ‘phased return’. This means that not all learners will return at once and, when they do return, the school day might start and end at different times for different learners. This may include different arrangements for siblings of different ages, attending the same school.
I appreciate that the thought of returning to school and the preparation required might be challenging for learners and parents alike. I anticipate that many parents and learners will be anxious. Please be assured that this is an entirely natural reaction to the current situation. With this in mind, I am keen to do everything possible to assure you of the local authority’s support in ensuring the emotional and physical wellbeing of learners is prioritised. Therefore, please be reassured that the local authority is working closely with schools and its partners to ensure that support is in place to assist your child’s return to school.
Thank you, once again, for your patience and support at this challenging time.
Lindsay Iorwerth Harvey (Mr)
Corporate Director – Education and Family Support/Cyfarwyddwr Corfforaethol – Addysg a Chymorth i Deuluoedd
Bridgend County Borough Council