Bridgend Council: Schools to remain closed due to high coronavirus cases

Welsh Government has announced that schools and colleges will remain closed until the February half-term unless there is a significant reduction in coronavirus cases before January 29 – the end of the next three-week review of current regulations.

In making the announcement, First Minister Mark Drakeford said the coronavirus pandemic had reached “a significant point” with cases in Wales remaining “very high” and the NHS being “under real and sustained pressure”.

It means that while in-school provision for primary school-aged children of critical workers and vulnerable learners (up to and including Year 8) will remain, the majority of children and young people will continue to learn from home.

Remote online learning for pupils restarted for all Bridgend pupils on Wednesday 6 January.

Bridgend County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration Councillor Dr Charles Smith said: “All schools continue to offer a blend of learning strategies to meet the needs of pupils. Where appropriate, live online learning will resume from Monday 11 January.

“As part of the process, schools have undertaken surveys to ensure those who are digitally excluded have access to a home computer whether that’s through a refurbished one from the school or the provision of mobile broadband.

“Parents and carers are understandably anxious, everybody wants to do the right thing by their children and schools are working closely with parents and carers to provide as much support as possible. If parents/carers have any issues, we would ask that they contact their school in the first instance.

“While some lessons will be live-streamed, others will not be and there are good reasons for that. Sometimes learners need to go off and do an activity by themselves and be away from the screen, later providing their feedback when they have completed it.

“In other circumstances, while there is no video link, the teacher is there setting activities and providing support to pupils as they complete them.

“The Central South Consortium has provided a range of training to schools depending on their requests with many receiving bespoke support for tools found within Hwb, the Welsh Government online platform.”