Updated: Three North Wales councils announce early end to face-to-face learning for schools
Update: Flintshire council has announced an early end to face-to-face learning for schools in the county with a move to blended learning for the final three days of the term next week. More here: https://www.deeside.com/flintshire-schools-to-end-to-face-to-face-learning-on-friday-and-move-to-blended-learning-next-week/
Earlier report: Councils have announced an early end to face-to-face learning for schools in three areas of north Wales.
The decisions affecting schools in Wrexham, Denbighshire and Anglesey have been made in light of rising Covid-19 cases and concerns over the emergence of the Omicron variant.
Wrexham’s schools will move to online learning for the last three days of this term – the 20th, 21st and 22nd of December.
In a statement on Monday, Chief Officer for Education Karen Evans said due to the increase in concern over the number of covid cases in schools, and the impact on staffing, schools in Wrexham will move to online learning for the last three days of term – the 20th, 21st and 22nd.
That effectively means schools end for in-class teaching on Friday for Christmas – however “Onsite provision will be made for those pupils who are considered to be vulnerable or who are children of critical workers, where there are no other alternatives”.
Following discussions with headteachers, Denbighshire Council has informed parents that face-to face learning in the county’s schools will finish at the end of the school day on Friday (December 17).
Remote learning will continue at schools until the end of the day on Tuesday, December 21, which is the last day of term.
Schools on Anglesey have been advised to reintroduce blended learning for the last three days of term (from Monday, 20 December to Wednesday 22 December).
There is no change to the end of term date (22 December) and schools will continue to operate, albeit differently, until this time.
Cllr Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Denbighshire Council’s lead member for education, said: “We have been working closely with our schools and have taken this difficult decision now to give parents as much notice as possible of the end of face-to-face learning on Friday.
“With the emergence of the Omicron variant, rising case numbers across the UK and the change in alert level, we are doing everything we can to protect pupils and school staff.
“Online learning will continue on Monday and Tuesday (December 20th and 21th) up to the end of term.
“I would like to once again thank all of our teachers for their continued dedication during this difficult time, pupils for their support for helping control the virus at school sites and parents for taking their children for tests when requested by Test, Trace and Protect.
“Despite the difficulties in continuing education during the pandemic, everyone involved has given their all to ensure our children get the very best education possible.”
Meanwhile, on Friday, Anglesey had the highest rate of coronavirus cases in Wales.
Over the past seven days, Anglesey’s incidence rate had risen to 840.9 per 100,000 people.
During the same period, the Welsh average stood at 504.6 per 100,000.
The council said children of key workers, vulnerable children and those whose parents who cannot work from home can continue to attend school for the remaining three days where required; and if no alternative arrangements can be made.
Further information regarding arrangements will be issued directly by head teachers to parents.
Council leader Llinos Medi said: “I have always said that this authority will do what is needed to safeguard our communities.
“Coronavirus cases have soared on the island during October, November and December – with the majority of cases seen in children and young people.”
“Pupils will continue their education, but a chance to switch to blended learning for the last few days of the term could prove vital in disrupting the high levels of transmission we have seen recently from continuing into the Christmas period and beyond.
“Combined with the concerns around the emerging Omicron variant, many parents and staff are extremely worried, and we must consider people’s well-being after another difficult year.
“Our education team continues to work closely with head teachers and I’d like to thank our school staff, governing bodies and parents for their continued work and care during a hugely difficult time.”
We have asked Flintshire Council if schools in the county will end face-to-face learning early. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com