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Keeping safe on school transport as learners return to classrooms

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PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is sharing important details on the safe operation of school transport as further learners return to schools.

Planning has been ongoing throughout the spring with all primary pupils and some year groups in secondary schools returning from today (Monday 15 th March).

In the first instance, parents and carers are still encouraged to take their own child/children to school wherever possible using active travel by walking or cycling.

If private car use is necessary, parents and carers are encouraged to park away from the school site and use active travel to travel the remaining distance.

For those planning on using school/college transport, all education transport routes will operate as normal and timetables will remain the same as before the Covid-19 situation.

Pupils/students should not travel if they are:

  • experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms – new and continuous cough, high temperature or loss of taste and smell
  • self-isolating as a result of Covid-19 symptoms or sharing a household with somebody with symptoms
  • clinically extremely vulnerable

As part of the measures to keep pupils/students as safe as possible, school transport operators will be continuing their increased cleaning regimes on all vehicles.

This includes the cleaning of all touch points after each passenger journey and a full deep clean of each vehicle at the end of the day.

Before boarding and when leaving the vehicle, pupils/students should use the hand sanitisers provided and should avoid touching surfaces wherever possible.

With much larger number of pupils set to return to school, please note that it will not be possible to ensure social distancing between pupils on school transport.

However, front seats of larger buses will be out of bounds to maintain social distancing between the driver and the pupils.

Drivers will also be included in the Lateral Flow Testing programme which will see them tested twice a week.

These tests assist in identifying those people who are carrying the virus but are asymptomatic and enables us to take them out of circulation in the community, thus reducing chance of transmission.

It will be mandatory for all secondary school pupils and college students to wear face coverings whilst travelling on all education transport- including taxis utilised for school transport – unless they are exempt.

For primary school pupils the wearing of face coverings is recommended and actively encouraged.

Extra dedicated education transport is being put in place for eligible pupils who normally travel on public transport but will not be able to do so due to reduced capacity on service buses.

Where pupils are not eligible for free school transport and they normally travel on public transport or a private bus, you will need to contact the bus operator to confirm the arrangements.

If parents DO NOT require School Transport for their child, please contact the Council’s Integrated Transport Unit (ITU) on 01437 775222 / 01437 776363 or: school.transport@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Cllr Guy Woodham, emphasised that the safety of pupils, students and transport staff has been at the heart of the process.

Cllr Woodham added: “Learners returning to schools is an important step forward and so very welcome.

“At the very forefront of our planning has been ensuring we can get learners to and from the classroom as safely as possible.

“Building on our experience from last year, Council officers have been working closely alongside school transport providers.

“I would urge all learners to follow the safety measures – maintain good hand hygiene, use the hand sanitiser, use face coverings – and I would urge all parents to reinforce the message for everyone’s benefit.”

Further information on school transport from the Spring term onwards can be found here: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/children-and-schools-transition-to-the-new-normal/covid-19-school-transport-information

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Tragedy above Milford Haven takeaway

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DYFED POWYS POLICE has confirmed that a 20-year-old male passed away in Milford Haven last Saturday, April 17.

Police were called to the USA Fried Chicken store on Charles Street at around 1:30pm but have said there are no suspicious circumstances.

A Herald reporter was at the scene and witnessed a number of police cars and an ambulance while plain-clothed officers were also seen.

HM Coroner has been informed.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson added: “We were called to Charles Street in Milford Haven on Saturday 17 April at approximately 1.34pm to reports of a medical emergency. We attended the scene with one emergency ambulance where we assisted colleagues from the police.”

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Health

Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’

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THE STAFF, governors, parents, and of course, the children of Tavernspite Community Primary School are delighted to gain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award for an incredible 5th time after a recent and very rigorous assessment.

The school is already well known and highly regarded for its outstanding work in developing the health and wellbeing of all members of its school community. To achieve this prestigious recognition in the midst of a pandemic is all the more impressive. 

Health and Wellbeing at the school is led by teacher, Lauren Arthur, who has done an incredible job preparing for this re-assessment and raising the profile of the Healthy Schools scheme.

The assessor Mrs Lynne Perry, enjoyed a virtual tour and presentation by Year 3 pupils who took great pleasure in proudly showing Mrs Perry all the wonderful work the school has done to ensure its children are safe, happy with high levels of emotional and physical wellbeing.

In her report, Mrs Perry wrote, ‘Tavernspite School continues to be an outstanding health promoting school. The health promoting school ethos is evident across the whole school population and it runs seamlessly throughout everything that the school does. Tavernspite School continues to give high priority to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the whole school community.’

The school received fantastic support from Mrs Liz Western, Senior Public Health Officer and Lead for Healthy Schools and Pre-schools, Pembrokeshire, to whom they are very grateful.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said, ‘We were delighted to receive this award for the fifth time, particularly considering the experiences we have all been through these past twelve months. Health and wellbeing has never been so important and we are proud to be leading the way like this.’

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Joinery learner through to Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year Finals

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PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE joinery learner, Conor Ratcliff has made it through to the final ten in this year’s Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year competition.

Now in its seventh year, the competition celebrates the next generation of tradespeople as they start out on their career. With over 2,500 nominations, Conor was shortlisted to the top 30 where he had to deliver a video presentation to industry-leading judges and trade body representatives. Judged on professionalism, creativity, innovation, enthusiasm and knowledge of their trade, Conor impressed the judges and is now in the final 10.  

Simon Jackson, Screwfix Customer and Digital director, commented: “Every year we are amazed by the outstanding quality of entrants and, this year, we are on the lookout for apprentices who go above and beyond to succeed within their chosen trade.

“We’ve seen how this career-boosting accolade and £10,000 prize bundle helps kickstart an apprentice’s career. I’d like to wish everyone through to this stage the best of luck!”

The prize package includes everything a future tradesperson may need to start up their own business including £5,000 of tools, a £3,000 training budget and £2,000 worth of technology. The college where they study will also receive £2,000.

Conor is thrilled to have made it through to the finals and commented: “I am extremely honoured to have made it this far in the competition and I am very excited for the final event. It would be an amazing opportunity for me, if I won this competition.

“I hope it encourages more people to consider an apprenticeship in a trade, the Carpentry and Joinery department have been incredibly supportive during my studies.”

The Final is due to take place imminently where the judges will conduct an online interview with the ten finalists before selecting and announcing their overall winner.

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