Returning to School FAQ's

Update on arrangements for limited attendance from 22 February 2021

Primary schools will provide onsite education provision for:

• learners in the Foundation Phase
• vulnerable learners in years 3-6
• critical worker children in years 3-6

There will be some flexibility over this first week, with all Foundation Learners being fully phased in by Friday 26th February. Individual schools have communicated this to parents.

Secondary schools will continue to provide access to onsite education provision across all their year groups for:

• vulnerable learners
• critical worker children
• learners undertaking essential exams or assessments

All other learners will continue to engage in remote learning.

Our primary Special School, Ysgol Pen Coch, has been providing ALL learners with a blended offer of a week face to face then a week learning from home on a rota basis since January. This will continue for the week of 22-26th February to complete the last cycle.

From 1st March all Foundation Phase learners will return to Ysgol Pen Coch full time. The rota arrangements will continue for learners in years 3-6.

Our secondary Special School, Ysgol Maes Hyfryd will continue with its current arrangement of providing a blended learning offer of a week face to face then a week learning from home on a rota basis.

Our Pupil Referral Unit, Plas Derwen, will continue with its current arrangements for all pupils.

During this time the current Welsh Government restrictions for alert level 4 will continue to remain in place. Outside of school it will be important that all staff, children and their families continue to stay at home as much as possible and limit their contact with others.


Does my child have to wear a face covering when in school?

Primary aged children do not need to wear face coverings in school or on school transport.


Secondary aged children who are accessing face to face learning under the criteria outlined above should wear a face covering on school transport and anywhere on the school premises where social distancing cannot be maintained. Secondary aged learners should not wear face coverings when running round or playing active games.


Do parents/carers need to wear a face covering when dropping off and collecting children?

Visitors to the school setting should use a face covering, including parents and carers when dropping off and picking up learners and maintain social distancing whilst waiting for their children.

Do children have to wear school uniform?

Some schools and settings may feel it is appropriate to relax their uniform policy while only certain categories of learners are attending and while school uniform and general clothing shops are required to close under alert level 4. This is a decision for individual schools.

What can children bring from home?

We are encouraging pupils to bring their own re-fillable bottles of drinking water with them to school.   Individual schools will have considered the safest way to provide water to a pupil if they forget to bring in their own bottle, or if they need to refill their bottle.

Pupils should continue to limit the number of items they bring from home. Frequently used items such as pens and pencils can be brought in but not shared with others. Schools will ensure that other classroom resources are regularly cleaned.

Will parents be fined if they don’t send their children back to school?

Schools will continue to record attendance in the register and will follow up on absences of the learners who are expected to be in school, but where a parent/carer wishes for their child to be absent, Welsh Government expect schools to authorise the absence during this time. Absence will not be penalised.

Is school transport available?

Yes, for those pupils who have an entitlement to free transport. All primary school transport routes will operate from Monday 22nd February.

Will a school meal service be available for Foundation Phase learners?

Yes, NEWydd catering are able to provide a full meal service to all schools so parents can purchase school meals for their children if they wish or provide them with a packed lunch.

What are the arrangements for families entitled to Free School Meals?

Families of Foundation Phase learners will received a direct payment for the week 22nd-26th February to account for the phased approach that schools have adopted to return learners over that week. However, a free meal will also be provided to any Foundation Phase learners who attend school that week and so parents do not need to provide a packed lunch from their direct payment.

From Friday 26th February all direct payment for Foundation Phase learners will cease. From Monday 1st March all provision for meals for Foundation Phase learners will be made in school.

All direct payments for children of other year groups entitled to free school meals will continue

My child only receives part time provision due to their age – is wrap around care available?

Yes, parents who normally use a combination of part time school and childcare to enable them to undertake their working commitments can still access these services. Parents will need to confirm their childcare requirements to their usual provider and to advise the school. This will enable schools and childcare settings to work together to minimise the number of contact bubbles these children will be part of to reduce the transmission of the virus.

Clinically vulnerable staff and learners

Learners who are self- isolating should not attend school.
Clinically extremely vulnerable learners are also advised not to attend school.
Parents should keep schools informed about the reason for their child’s absence so the registers can be accurately maintained.