Will schools reopen in January?

By Katy Jenkins   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Wednesday 15th December 2021 12:49 pm
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Ysgol Penweddig in Aberystwyth

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THE head of education in Ceredigion has said it is ‘difficult to predict’ whether schools will reopen in January.

During a meeting earlier today, Aberystwyth councillor Mark Strong, posed the question whether school will reopen after the Christmas break or whether children will remain at home learning online.

Cllr Strong said: “Parents need to know as soon as possible,” adding that although some parents welcomed the move to online learning announced by Ceredigion County Council on Tuesday evening, others did not and sharing of data on why the decision was made would be helpful.

He added at this morning’s learning communities overview and scrutiny committee that “some parents are concerned that the lockdown with regards to school will continue in January and they would like a little warning if it seems likely that online learning will continue in January.”

Chief education officer Meinir Ebbsworth said that Covid-19 figures in the county’s schools were increasing and the increase across the county as a whole was the second highest in Wales, as is the positivity rate, adding that Ceredigion had the highest rate of increases in the under 25s.

Covid-19, along with other seasonal illnesses, were causing staffing issues and “this decision has not been taken lightly at all.”

The committee heard that provision for key workers’ children and those that are vulnerable would continue and schools would be ensuring access to IT at home with support for those on free school meals continuing through the holidays.

Mrs Ebbsworth added that the importance of letting parents know what will happen in January as soon as possible – while acknowledging it was difficult to predict at this point – had been highlighted to Welsh Government and discussion was ongoing.

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