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Letter from Steven Richards-Downes – Acting Director for Children and Schools

Dear parents and carers, 

Following the announcement by the Education Minister Kirsty Williams regarding the reopening of schools. I wanted to share our position with you. The last few months have been challenging of everyone, children and young people, parents and carers and school staff. I welcome the plans from Welsh Government, which will allow us to plan for the safe re-opening of schools in September. 

At the start of next term, schools will: 

  • Reopen to staff on the 1st of September, 
  • Plan and prepare for the return of learners by reviewing risk assessments and processes to ensure schools can welcome learners back safely. 
  • Prioritise groups of learners to attend in the first week on the third and fourth of September. 
  • Maximise the number of learners and increase numbers safely through the week beginning the 7th of September, leading to a full return by the 14th of September. 

Schools will communicate directly with parents and carers about their arrangements. During this week, Welsh Government will issue guidance and this guidance will change as the situation evolves. Every school will have its own challenges to deal with. The will include things like staffing, catering, cleaning, transport etc. These will be worked through in detail over the next few weeks. There will be no childcare provision for the children of key workers in September. 

We will: 

  • continue to provide support to schools and the families they work with in the coming weeks; 
  • continue to support headteachers and staff in schools who have worked under extreme pressure during the lockdown phase; 
  • continue to communicate via the local authority website and social media channels 

I would like to thank you for your support and working with our schools and us during this difficult time. I am confident that by continuing to work together we can make the return to our schools successful. 


Yours sincerely 


Steven Richards-Downes 

Acting Director for Children and Schools 

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