Anglesey schools to reopen for final week of term as evidence shows 2 Sisters coronavirus outbreak has not spread
Schools on Anglesey will reopen in time for the final week of the summer term, it has been confirmed.
Earlier this month Anglesey Council announced that schools would not reopen as planned on June 29 following a flurry of positive tests centred around the 2 Sisters poultry processing plant in Llangefni.
Pointing to the positive cases creating a “great deal of uncertainty on the island”, officials said it was a responsible course of action due to concerns that the virus would seep into the wider community.
It had been speculated that schools would not reopen at all this term, with the authority’s leader of the opposition suggesting that efforts should be concentrated on opening up for the new year in September.
But this afternoon, the authority has confirmed that schools will open on July 13 as part of the Welsh Government’s “Check in, Catch Up, Prepare for summer and September” plans.
The decision, they say, comes after Public Health Wales confirmed there was no evidence to suggest that the Llangefni outbreak has led to “significant community transmission.”
The authority’s head of education stressed that the ultimate decision would be down to parents on whether their children would return, but added that school buildings would be made as safe as possible.
“Our head teachers, teachers and support staff have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that children and staff will return to a safe learning environment,” he said.
“We believe that it is now the right decision to open classrooms on July 13th and important that children can, if they choose, return for the last week of the summer term.
“We have seen fantastic co-operation between all schools and the county council’s education service, which has seen us overcome significant hurdles.”
Schools will now contact parents outlining the available offer for their children, from reception age.
But the total number of pupils in any school at any one time will not exceed a third, with each individual school making decisions on how they will open and which age groups will be prioritised.
Children who do not go back to school will still benefit from digital platforms, the authority added.
Gwyn Pleming, Chair of the Primary School Strategic Forum, added: “The health and safety of our children and staff has always come first during preparations to welcome pupils back.
“We understand that parents and children will be anxious and have many questions – that’s only natural. Schools will now be in touch to explain more about what will be on offer to children when they return and provide parents with the information they need.”
Aaron Bayley, representing the secondary sector, went on to say: “We’re really looking forward to seeing pupils return to their classrooms and to restoring some semblance of normality to our schools before the end of the summer term.
“Our focus during the week will be on responding to pupils’ emotional health and well-being needs in a safe environment as well as ensuring continuity between school-based support and home learning.”
Education portfolio holder, Cllr Meirion Jones, thanked parents for their support, understanding and patience over the past three months.
“Our head teachers, teachers and school staff have also been fantastic in the way they have kept learning going,” he added.
“I can’t thank them enough for their continued commitment, effort and innovation on behalf of Anglesey children and young people.”
By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email firstname.lastname@example.org