Schools in Ceredigion to close on Friday

By Dylan Davies   |   News editor   |
Tuesday 14th December 2021 7:34 pm
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SCHOOLS in Ceredigion are to close their doors for Christmas on Friday and return to distance learning.

In a letter to parents this evening, Chief Education Officer for Ceredigion County Council, Meinir Ebbsworth, said: “As a council, we have decided that the county’s schools will be reverting to distance learning from Monday, 20 December, until the end of term.

“The decision is based on the expectation of an imminent rapid and sudden increase in the Omicron variant and also due to the daily challenges encountered in a number of schools due to staff absences.

“The aim is to minimize contacts in order to prevent the spread of the virus over the coming crucial weeks.

“There is clear medical advice that a third dose of the vaccine is an effective means of managing the new variant and the local health board encourages everyone who wishes to receive the vaccine to do so as soon as they receive their invitation.

“Planning now for the reintroduction of distance learning will ensure continued provision and a structured end of term.

“ICT equipment will be provided to families if needed, and the request for this should be made through the school.

“Any pupil attending a specialist resource unit will be able to continue to do so until the end of term.

“Parents who are key workers and cannot make alternative childcare arrangements, can have access to a childcare hub if necessary during this period.

“Your school will communicate with you directly tomorrow regarding local arrangements.”

There is no mention within the letter whether in class lessons will return in the new year, or whether distance learning will continue.

In a statement this evening, Ceredigion County Council confirmed to the Cambrian News: "This decision has been taken to safeguard our children, staff, families and communities by reducing contact to prevent the spread of the virus. "Ceredigion’s case rate has shown the second highest increase of all local authorities in Wales over the past seven days and cases of the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron, are rising rapidly in Wales. "This, combined with the daily challenges schools have faced with staff absences, has led to a decision to move to remote learning to protect our frontline services as much as possible. This decision has been made with the full support of Head-teachers and Teaching Unions and in the best interest of pupils, their families and school staff. "The council recognises the hard work of school staff during the year and in meeting the challenges that the coronavirus has brought, whilst at the same time continuing to deliver high teaching quality, face to face or remotely. "Parents are thanked for their support during this challenging time."Carmarthenshire County Council says that there are no alterations planned to the original end of term date of Tuesday, 21 December with Gwynedd County Council saying schools in its county will remain open until Wednesday, 22 December.

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