Pembrokeshire schools will remain open next week but only to provide childcare for essential workers, the County Council has confirmed.
Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams announced on Wednesday (March 18) that all school would close for normal education provision today (Friday), to help slow the spread of coronavirus in communities but that they would be used to support key workers.
Therefore, all Pembrokeshire schools will re-open on Monday to the children of parents/guardians who are defined as keyworkers in the guidance issued by the UK Government.
That is, children of parents/guardians employed in:
· Health and social care sectors
· Education and childcare
· Key public services
· Local and national government: The occupations essential to the effective delivery of the Covid-19 response or delivering essential public services
· Food and other necessary goods: Those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery
· Public safety and national security: Including police and support staff, fire and rescue service employees, including support staff and prison and probation staff
· Transport: Includes those keeping the road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating and transport systems through which supply chains operate.
Parents/guardians employed in the keyworker occupations will not need to register for this provision.
Children can be brought to school as normal and school transport will continue to operate next week.
Catering will be delivered as normal in every school and meals will be free to all children attending and all staff who are working for the next week at least.
Normal school opening and closing times, Monday-Friday will operate.
The Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, Cllr David Simpson, said: “The purpose of closing schools is to reduce the risk of being infected by the coronavirus. We ask where possible that children are kept at home.
"But to fight coronavirus effectively it is essential that keyworkers can continue to carry out their roles.
“We are making provision to ensure that those staff can go about their work without worrying about childcare.
“I’m sure everyone would agree that we are living in unprecedented times and things are moving extremely quickly so these measures will be monitored carefully and, if any changes are required, we will communicate them as soon as possible.
“For now it is important to underline that if you are a keyworker you can bring your child or children to their school on Monday and they will be looked after.
“I’d also like to add my thanks to all Authority staff, including headteachers and teaching staff who have worked extremely hard to organise this provision so quickly.”