Parents in Flintshire are being reminded of guidance around education availability.

Face-to-face learning has been suspended, apart for the children of critical workers and vulnerable learners, by the Welsh Government until at least January 29, but unless infection rates reduce significantly this could be put back to February half term.

With increased transmission rates due to the new variant of coronavirus, Welsh Government guidance states children of key workers should only attend school if there is absolutely no safe alternative, and only on days when their parent or parents are working.

Councillor Ian Roberts, Leader of Flintshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Education said “We do acknowledge this is a very difficult time for pupils and parents with face-to-face learning suspended for the majority of pupils. However, during this period when schools are open to children of key workers it is vital we ensure Welsh Government guidance on who can attend is followed in order to keep everyone safe.”

“Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, but if the work of parents/carers is critical to the COVID-19 response, and the child/children cannot be kept safely at home, then priority is given for face to face education provision.

“To ensure our communities stay safe and transmission is reduced, only those pupils who need to be in school should be attending. This is to ensure schools have sufficient capacity for those who genuinely need the places.”

Claire Homard, Chief Officer for Education and Youth, referred to the Welsh Government guidance which states:

One critical worker does not necessarily mean children are entitled to a place at school, and that if children can be safely cared for at home they should be.

Difficulties with balancing home-learning and working from home is not a reason to access the provision unless the person working from home is a critical worker and is unable to safely care for the child.

If capacity is reached, based on the school’s risk assessment, the Council will take the decision that certain children may be prioritised for provision based on parental occupation.