Schools and families thanked by council

School leaders, teachers, school staff, parents as well as children and young people across Powys are being thanked by the county council for their huge efforts during one of the most difficult periods the county has ever experienced.

With the school year ending on Friday, 24 July, Powys County Council would like to sincerely thank everyone involved with schools across the county.

The council and schools have faced a very challenging period as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic that has gripped the country since the middle of March.

This included the closure of almost every single school in the county. Those schools that remained opened were turned into emergency childcare hubs to provide childcare to support critical emergency workers, NHS staff and social care workers as well as the county’s most vulnerable children.

The hubs were open 10 hours a day, seven days a week for over 12 weeks and staffed by teaching staff. Their diligence and courage meant that there was not a single outbreak of Covid-19 in those three months.

Education continued after the Easter break with schools supporting their pupils through distance learning while the council produced its distance learning plan to help parents and carers support their child’s emotional health, wellbeing and learning at home.

Learners in the county who did not have access to an internet-connected device at home were provided with one after the council and schools worked together to identify digitally excluded learners.

Schools re-opened at the end of June as part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Check in, Catch up, Prepare for summer and September’ which involved reduced numbers of pupils in school each day and safe distancing for all learners and staff.

Every child has been given the opportunity to attend school the last four weeks. Schools and the council have received excellent feedback from children, young people and parents saying how much it has meant to them.

Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Property, said: “It’s been great to see the county’s children back in school the last few weeks and hearing reports of them smiling and playing in a safe environment has been a real pleasure.

“They have seen friends, teachers and school staff for the first time in months while year six children have had the opportunity to say goodbye to their primary school before starting secondary school in September.

“I’m extremely proud of the efforts of everyone involved in schools over the last four months. It is only right that I pay tribute to their hard work and dedication in these extraordinary circumstances.  I would sincerely like to thank staff, children and parents for making the last four weeks of term a success.”

Lynette Lovell, the council’s Interim Chief Education Officer, said: “We have been working very closely with schools over the past few months and have overcome many challenges by working as a team. I’m extremely grateful for them for their dedication and hard work.

“I hope now that everyone will be able to enjoy a well-deserved break over the summer and we look forward to safely welcoming all children and young people back to our schools in September.”