Secondary schools across Wrexham will switch to online learning for the whole of next week, while primary schools will do the same for the last two days of term.
The announcement comes on the back of increasing numbers of staff and pupils testing positive or having to isolate, and will hopefully reduce the risk of families having to isolate over Christmas.
The decision to close secondary schools from Monday (December 14) has been taken by headteachers with the full backing of Wrexham Council.
While primary school heads and the council have agreed to close all schools by next Thursday (December 17)…although some might close sooner if they need to (parents and carers will be kept informed).
Councillor Phil Wynn, Lead Member for Education, says:
“Schools have been working hard to stay open, but it’s becoming increasingly challenging due to the numbers of staff and children having to self-isolate due to coronavirus.
“We’re also aware that many parents are extremely worried about the risk of having to isolate over Christmas, and after such a difficult year, we have to consider people’s well being.
“Closing premises a few days early and switching to online learning – with teachers delivering lessons remotely – will give schools some much-needed breathing space, while helping to prevent further spread of the virus and reducing the likelihood of families having to isolate over the holidays.”
Wrexham Council has been monitoring the situation and it was originally hoped that schools across the county borough would stay open until the last day of term (Friday, December 18).
However, numbers of staff and pupils self-isolating have risen significantly in the past week and the situation has becoming increasingly difficult for head teachers.
Councillor Wynn says:
“It’s important to note that the term isn’t finishing early, and pupils will still be provided with work that they can do from home during the last week.
“It’s been a really tough year for schools…affecting children, staff, parents and carers.
“But we’ll keep working together, and the positive news about the vaccination programme in the UK means we can look to the future with hope and optimism.”
Free school meals
Direct payments were already due to be paid over the Christmas holidays to parents and carers of children receiving free school meals.
However, payments will be increased to cover the days that secondary children will spend learning at home next week.
And given primary school sites will be closed next Thursday and Friday, parents and carers will receive an extra two days’ payment on top of their payment for the holidays.
If you have any concerns or worries about free school meals, contact firstname.lastname@example.orgDOWNLOAD THE NHS APP