I hope you are well.
Over the Christmas period, there have been some developments which impact on schools and your respective headteacher will be contacting you to explain how they will affect you.
Some changes will affect all of you and I thought it might be helpful to set these out.
We will see far more use of lateral flow testing (LFTs) this term. Secondary aged pupils and all school staff will now be asked to test on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and to book a PCR and isolate if they have a positive LFT result.
If your child is identified as a close contact, they will be required to do a LFT daily for 7 days.
If you are a parent of a primary aged pupil over 5 years old, you can obtain these tests online by visiting https://gov.wales/get-rapid-lateral-flow-covid-19-tests-if-you-do-not-have-symptoms or from participating local pharmacies, the list of which can be found on the aforementioned link. If you are unable to do this, primary schools have a very small supply available for emergencies.
We will be expanding the number of places where you can obtain LFTs within Caerphilly County Borough shortly and we will update you in due course.
You will be aware of the impact of Covid upon staff attendance. Headteachers are currently assessing their situations but, as you can imagine, the picture will change daily and supply staff are not always available to cover.
Schools will do their absolute best to be open for on-site learning, but it is increasingly likely that there will be a need to move to remote learning in some circumstances. Notice may well be quite short, and we ask for your patience and understanding in this disrupted period. Schools are required to have adequate staffing and all decisions will be made in line with reviewed risk assessments and in discussion with the local authority.
There will be limited capacity for children of prioritised critical workers and vulnerable pupils, but this will be determined by staff capacity and, therefore, once again, I would ask for your understanding in this period.
Free School Meals
The FSM deliveries will take place week commencing the 14th of February.
All parents will receive text messages confirming their individual delivery day. The meals delivered at that time will cover the half term holidays and any days that children may have missed due to the remote learning scenarios mentioned above and isolation periods.
Parents can contact the catering department on email@example.com or 01443 864055 if they wish to discuss their delivery options, arrange a click and collect alternative or to pause their delivery for this period.
Test, Trace, Protect (TTP)
Anyone with a positive test result should follow the isolation rules set out at gov.wales/self‑isolation.
As you are aware, there has been a huge rise in case numbers over the last few weeks and the TTP service is very busy at present. You may be contacted by text message and asked to complete an online form. This e-form gathers data about who your child has seen and where they have been during their infectious period.
The form is a standard form and will ask a series of questions which do not naturally fit your child’s circumstances, so for the questions listed below – we would be grateful if you provide the following information:
- Are they employed? Please answer YES.
- What is their employment status? You should select STUDENT as the answer to this question
- What is their main place of employment? Please add the name of your child’s school for this question.
This information is very important as it helps us to warn the school of a positive case very quickly and provide the correct advice to any contacts identified by you and your child. If this information is missing, there will be significant delays in us providing advice to the correct people. Your co-operation would be gratefully received.
We thank you for your ongoing co-operation.
Keri Cole, Chief Education Officer
Caerphilly County Borough Council