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Friday, March 20, 2020

County confirms care arrangements for key staff’s children

Denbighshire County Council is finalising arrangements for the child care of identified key workers, in light of the on-going situation with Coronavirus.

On Wednesday, the Education Minister Kirsty Williams announced that all schools would close by the end of Friday, but care would be provided for children of key workers.  The Council has been working tirelessly to put plans in place to provide the necessary provision in  the county, with 1,900 key workers identified.

Virtually all schools in Denbighshire are making themselves available as centres as of Monday, 23 March (during normal school hours). The only exceptions to this will be Ysgol Trefnant, Ysgol Pendref (Denbigh), Ysgol Llanbedr and St Asaph VP.

For those children who normally go to a school which is not opening, the Council will inform those families and allocate them a place in the most appropriate school.  Those parents/ guardians are asked to drop-off their children at the school on Monday morning and information will be communicated to those parents.   Guest pupils will be accompanied by available staff from their home school.

Catering facilities will be available each day.
Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Cabinet Lead Member for Education, Children’s Services and Public Engagement said: “This kind of situation is completely unprecedented and we have been working very hard with our schools to make sense of what is happening and making sure that we are providing consistent and up to date advice in what is a fast moving situation. Things are changing on an hourly basis.

“We have pressed the Welsh Government for clarity and guidance, but that has not been forthcoming.  In the meantime, and with the clock ticking, we have decided to put in place plans for key staff we have identified or who have been in touch with us.  That has been done with national guidance in mind, to protect the health and well-being of our children and young people, to adhere to social distancing advice and to avoid mass gatherings.

“We are extremely grateful to schools for their support and we recognise that a lot of parents and guardians have been left in a position wanting answers.  We would like to reassure everyone that we have been pressing Welsh Government for answers on a wide range of issues and have decided to put these plans in place immediately.

“The situation is ever changing and we are making a commitment to communicating with school communities as much as possible.  Hopefully the arrangements being put in place will settle into a routine quickly and provide some peace of mind to parents/ guardians and for communities.

“The Council has also called for clarity on a number of other issues, including how free school meals delivery will work for those eligible, clarity around examinations and how long schools are expected to close.  We will provide information on this when it becomes available”.

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