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Update letter from the Director of Education for Swansea

Dear Parent / Carer 
We know the past few months have been difficult for learners, with many anxious about loss of learning and not being able to see their friends. That is why we welcome the Education Minister’s plan which will enable the local authority to prepare for the safe reopening of the schools that can do so in the first week of September, with all schools to return the following week. 
At the outset, we want to share as much information as we can with you to understand the arrangements that will be in place from September. 
Planning and preparation days will take place at the start of term to review risk assessment, processes and systems to ensure individual schools can welcome pupils back safely.  
Some specific groups of learners might need to be prioritised during the first week of term, such as Years 7, 11, 12, 13 and Special Teaching Facilities (STFs) for secondary and Early Years, Year 6 and STFs in primary schools.  
Parents should expect to receive more specific information from their school and the local authority as it becomes available. 
Given the current extraordinary circumstances, we know hard working staff in schools, learners and their families may well be under additional emotional, financial and psychological pressure. The local authority continues to work closely with schools and settings to consider how best to support the ongoing well-being needs of all learners at this time. 
From the second week of term school attendance will be compulsory. Parents are asked to contact their school if a pupil is unable to attend for any legitimate reason. 
The resumption of schooling will also mean that the Emergency Childcare provision for key workers will come to an end. 
Each school setting will have local challenges to address, including the availability of staffing. Work is underway with colleagues to confirm school transport arrangements. The Local Authority and schools will work closely to overcome and resolve such issues. Please keep an eye on the Local Authority’s website which will be updated with further information as soon as it becomes available. 
We recognise that reopening schools in the current climate is challenging. Local authorities and schools are committed to work together to ensure that learners can continue to learn safely. Welsh Government has also made £28m available to support schools to recover. 
Finally, we would like to thank you. These past few months have placed additional stresses on everyone, but particularly for parents and carers who have had to quickly adjust to educating their children at home at a time which is already very challenging. We hope that you find this letter helpful. If you have any queries or questions, please contact your school. 
Nick Williams

Director of Education