FURTHER cases of Covid-19 has been confirmed in Ysgol Harri Tudur/Henry Tudor School (Pembroke) and at Milford Haven School.
As a result, all pupils in Year 11 from Ysgol Harri Tudur and some students from year 7 in Milford Haven have been asked to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days.
Parents of the pupils in those classes have been informed.
Parents and carers do not need to contact the schools to find out if their child has been affected.
Pembrokeshire County Council, Public Health Wales and Hywel Dda University Health Board are working with the school to ensure that all possible precautionary measures are being taken to minimise risk of transmission of the virus.
Parents/guardians have been given the following advice by Hywel Dda University Health Board:
If a child/parent/household member develops symptoms of Covid-19, the entire household should immediately self-isolate, and book a test for the individual with the symptoms. It is unnecessary to test the entire household if they are not symptomatic.
The Covid-19 symptoms are:
● a new continuous cough
● a high temperature
● loss of or change to sense of smell or taste
Booking a Covid-19 test:
Hywel Dda University Health Board recommends testing only for those with a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or loss of or change in the sense of taste or smell.
If a child does not have symptoms of Covid-19 but has other cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, they do not need to be tested and they and you do not need to self-isolate. Your child can go to school if fit to do so.
If a Covid-19 test is required, this should be arranged via the UK Booking Portal, https://gov.wales/apply-coronavirus-test or by ringing 119. Testing is available within Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire or via a home testing kit delivered to and collected from your home. The Covid-19 test is undertaken via a throat swab or combined throat and nose swab.
It is essential that people who have Covid-19 symptoms, or who share a household with someone who has symptoms, must self-
isolate, even if your symptoms are mild. To protect others, you must not attend school, nursery, other childcare settings, work, or go to or to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days from when their symptoms started. They can return to school or work after 10 days if they are well enough to do so. A pupil must remain fever free for at least 48 hrs.
Anyone in the household who does not have symptoms must self- isolate for 14 days from when the first person in the home started having symptoms.
If a parent thinks their child has symptoms BUT chooses not to put them through a test all household members must remain in self-isolation for 14 days from the onset of symptoms.
If you receive a positive test result, you will be contacted by the Test, Trace, Protect Team who will advise you further.
If a person has been in contact with an individual experiencing symptoms, they should carry on as normal until that individual
receives their test result. If this is positive, the Test, Trace, Protect Team will contact those people identified as contacts and advise accordingly.
PembrokeshireCollege receives Carers Scheme award
PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE has recently been recognised for its work to support staff and students with caring responsibilities securing a Bronze Award in the Investors in Carers Scheme.
Delivered by Hywel Dda University Health Board, and supported by its local authority and third sector partners in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, the Investors in Carers scheme is designed to help health, social care, and other institutions to focus on their carer awareness and to improve the help and support that they can offer to carers.
Pennie Muir, Lead at Investors for Carers, presented Pembrokeshire College Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officer, Judith Evans, with the award and commented on the College’s achievement saying: “Pembrokeshire College have been recognised for their commitment to supporting unpaid carers and their families within both their student and their staff communities.
“Originally designed to help health facilities such as GP practices, areas within hospitals and other organisations to focus on and improve their carer awareness and enhance the help and support they give unpaid carers of all ages, the Scheme has been expanded to education settings including secondary schools and colleges. Pembrokeshire College joins the other two Colleges in the west Wales region to have achieved this level.”
There are approximately 30,000 carers under the age of 25 in Wales with a carer being defined as someone who provides care to an adult or disabled child.
Pembrokeshire College are committed to actively seeking to identify and support young carers and to provide the best resources and support possible to ensure that they can continue to study alongside their caring responsibilities.
Judith expressed it was a proud moment and a positive step forward to supporting these young carers: “We are delighted to have achieved the Investors in Carers Bronze Award. We have worked hard to develop the services we provide for our learners and staff with caring responsibilities and feel that the changes we have made to support them are already making a difference and have ideas for further developments in the future. The Investors in Carers team have been so helpful, providing us with ideas, resources and information. We look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”
Schools to stay closed in Wales as coronavirus situation worsens
THE WELSH GOVERNMENT, in consultation with the WLGA and Colegau Cymru, has just agreed that all schools and colleges will move to online learning until January 18.
The Welsh Government says it will use the next two weeks to continue to work with local authorities, schools and colleges to best plan for the rest of term.
In a statement education minister Kirsty Williams said: “This is the best way to ensure that parents, staff and learners can be confident in the return to face to face learning, based on the latest evidence and information.
“Schools and colleges will remain open for children of critical workers and vulnerable learners, as well as for learners who need to complete essential exams or assessments.
“We had already ensured that schools had full flexibility in the first two weeks of term to decide when to reopen based on local circumstances.
Reacting to the announcement, Suzy Davies MS – the Shadow Minister for Education – said: “With many children having been due to begin a ‘staggered’ return to school from Wednesday onwards, this news has come late for them and for their parents.”
The closure will affect all primary and secondary schools, and additional learning needs (ALN) bases will remain open “if possible”.
However, schools and colleges will remain open for children of critical workers and vulnerable learners, as well as for learners who need to complete essential exams or assessments
Welsh Conservative Mrs Davies continued: “Because of the planned staggered return, we were told that teachers were preparing online, blended learning. I hope, and I’m sure all parents and pupils feel the same, that these systems can be adapted for this full closure.
“What parents, pupils, and teachers across Wales need is reassurance from the Minister as to what conditions must be met for schools to re-open, because while a prudent measure, to read that the next two weeks will be used to plan for ‘… rest of term’ offers little reassurance.
“This announcement, however, reinforces our calls for teachers to be prioritised to receive the new vaccine, because this virus has damaged our young learners’ education enough.”
Laura Doel, Director of NAHT Cymru, the Welsh school leaders’ union said: “The decision to close schools to gain control of Coronavirus has been inevitable for some time. The announcement this evening will bring some much-needed clarity to the situation.
“Besides parents and carers there is no one more committed to the education and welfare of children at school than school leaders and their teams. NAHT Cymru members want children back in school as soon as possible and the restricted attendance from tomorrow should be used to organise an orderly and sustainable return.
“The Welsh Government has repeatedly said it wants to prioritise education, in that case it must also prioritise safety in schools and the communities schools serve.
“Work should be undertaken with school leaders and Public Health Wales to establish and agree new Covid-related safety measures in schools during the temporary restriction for implementation in good time prior to lifting restrictions.
“There needs to focus on vaccinating staff so that further disruption to teaching and learning can be ruled out.
“Welsh Government must also urgently review its approach to special schools given the statement that states special schools should remain open if possible. This once again demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the complexities faced in special schools in keeping covid restrictions in place.
“It is uncertain whether the next two weeks will be enough time to ensure a fully risk-assessed plan is put in place to facilitate the safe return with a properly organised and resourced testing regime and priority vaccinations for staff, but I know that NAHT Cymru members stand ready to work with the government for the good of all children. For its part the government should be prepared to work directly with leaders from every phase and sector of education.”
FULL WRITTEN STATEMENT
Kirsty Williams MS, Minister for Education
The situation in Wales and across the UK remains very serious. Today, the four UK Chief Medical Officers have agreed that the UK is now at the highest level of risk, Joint Biosecurity Council level 5.
In the light of that decision the Welsh Government, in consultation with the WLGA and Colegau Cymru, has agreed that all schools, colleges and independent schools should move to online learning until January 18th.
As a government we will use the next two weeks to continue to work with local authorities, schools and colleges to plan for the rest of term.
This is the best way to ensure that parents, staff and learners can be confident in the return to face to face learning, based on the latest evidence and information.
Schools and colleges will remain open for children of critical workers and vulnerable learners, as well as for learners who need to complete essential exams or assessments. On this basis Special Schools and PRU’s should remain open if possible.
We had initially given schools flexibility in the first two weeks of term to decide when to reopen based on local circumstances.
But it is now clear that a national approach of online learning for the first fortnight of term is the best way forward.
We know that schools and colleges have been safe and secure environments throughout the pandemic.
However, we also know that education settings being open can contribute to wider social mixing outside the school and college environment.
We are confident that schools and colleges have online learning provision in place for this immediate period,
Universities in Wales have already agreed a staggered start to term. Students should not return to universities for face to face learning until they are notified that they can do so.
Wales remains in the highest level of restrictions. Everyone must stay at home.
I will continue to update members.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.
St Davids pupils’ Covid-19 themed exhibition available to view online
A NEW exhibition showcasing artwork by St Davids school pupils is now available online after Covid-19 restrictions led to the closure of Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre, where it was due to go on display.
Organised and funded by the Friends of Oriel y Parc, the Jeff Davies Award is an annual art competition in partnership with Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi, honouring the memory of local man and former chairman of the Friends of Oriel y Parc.
This year’s competition was judged by special guests Amanda Wright, Sarah Jane Brown and Alun Davies on the theme of ‘Covid-19…Your View’, which asked students to interpret the impact of the virus.
Oriel y Parc Manager, Claire Bates said: “Unfortunately we had to close the Centre just as we were putting the finishing touches to the exhibition.
“We didn’t want all the pupils’ hard work to be hidden away so we thought the only option was to create an online gallery so that this amazing artwork was available for all to see.
“Although we are now closed until the New Year, I would like to thank everyone that has visited Oriel y Parc this year and look forward to welcoming more people as soon it is safe to do so in 2021.”
The joint winners from Campws Dewi were Jazmine Hanna and Shelby Hanna, with third place going to Becky Wadia.
The winner of the Campws Non category was Seren Reason, with Becky Millington in second place and Carys Reason third.
From Campws Aidan, Leila Lloyd Phillips was the winner with Liliwen Evans in second and Archie Morgan third.
For the latest updates from Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre and to view the Jeff Davies Award exhibition online visit www.orielyparc.co.uk.
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