Five school ‘hubs’ will open on Monday, March 23, for children of key workers.
Caerphilly County Borough Council will offer 1,100 places at Idris Davies School in Rhymney, Blackwood Primary, Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni (Gellihaf), Lewis School Pengam, and Risca Comprehensive.
A spokesperson for Caerphilly County Borough Council said: “This has been a massive challenge in such a short timeframe, but we will be ready to receive over 1,100 children whose parents are providing essential services.
“Dealing with the demand is going to be an ongoing challenge but we will constantly review and refine so that we can accommodate as many children as possible.”
They added: “Schools co-ordinated the initial list, but Caerphilly County Borough Council is now co-ordinating centrally.
“We hope to create additional capacity over coming weeks.”
On Wednesday the Welsh Government’s Minister for Education Kirsty Williams announced that schools would shut from Friday for all pupils, except the vulnerable and those whose parents are “key workers”.
This includes workers in health and social care, education, childcare, local and national government, food and other necessary goods, public safety and national security, transport, utilities and financial services.
It also includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the dead and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.
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A selection of schools across each of the five local authority areas will act as childcare hubs for the vulnerable pupils and children of key workers.
Work for students will be provided via an online platform until further notice. It is not yet clear how long these measures will be in place.
While the details are still being hashed out, Monmouthshire has said that nine schools will be open for eligible pupils, while Caerphilly will open five.
Caerphilly said they are expecting the five schools to cater for more than 1,100 pupils.
Free school meals
The council is looking to continue to provide a free school meal to all eligible pupils whilst the schools are closed to pupils. If your child is eligible and you wish to continue to receive this service please email email@example.com
The council will then contact you to obtain further information in order that it will be able to coordinate appropriate ways of delivery and any special dietary requirements.
The meals will probably be in frozen batches of five per pupil and will be prepared and consumed at home.
It is the council’s intention to begin this service on Monday, March 30.
If you require any further information please telephone 01495 237921.
GCSE and A-Level exams
The school closures have led to the Welsh and UK Governments to cancel all A-Level and GCSE exams scheduled for the summer.
The chief executive of WJEC, the organisation providing exams and educational resources to schools and colleges in Wales, Ian Morgan has today issued a statement to reassure pupils, parents and staff that teacher assessment grades will form the basis of students’ grades.
Mr Morgan said: “Qualifications Wales has clearly outlined that teacher assessed grades must be based on the overall qualification grade each learner is likely to achieve at the end of their course of study, based on their performance on a range of classroom and external assessments and on their overall commitment to their studies and ability in the subject.”
Further details on this and on those students who were due to take AS Levels or GCSE unit exams in the summer will be released in the coming weeks.
Coleg Gwent, along with schools will be closed from Monday, with students working remotely.
There will be no face-to-face teaching, working for students will be accessible via the online portal.
In an update on its website, Coleg Gwent says: “We understand there will be no change to vocational assessments except where students have external exams and we are awaiting further instructions.”
Part time courses, which were due to start between now and the end of April, have been cancelled.
While the Welsh Government has made an announcement regarding schools and colleges, this doesn’t appear to apply to nurseries.
Most nurseries across Gwent remain open, particularly for the children of key workers.
However, this is an ever-changing situation and each nursery will be taking its own decision on the matter.
The University of South Wales (USW) has suspended face-to-face teaching, with students expected to be taught online until “at least Easter”.
This will be enforced in force at every USW campus – in Newport, Cardiff, and Pontypridd (Treforest and Glyntaff).
Students living on campus are still awaiting further advice, while international students have been told they can go home.
Additional information provided by the Local Democracy Reporting Service