Local Authority Statement: Guidance re special schools and pupil referral units

There is very clear guidance from UK and Welsh Government that, for most pupils, the best place for them currently is at home.  However, from Friday 27th March, Powys County Council will be providing emergency childcare provision for children of key workers and the most vulnerable pupils through a number of hubs located in Powys schools.

From Monday 30th March, the Powys special schools and pupil referral units will also be offering emergency childcare provision at two specialist hubs across two sites.  The two sites will be Ysgol Cedewain and Ysgol Penmaes.  These will operate from Monday to Friday, during normal school hours.

There will be a need to cap the number of pupils attending each day, in order to make sure that there are enough appropriately qualified staff on site as well as enough space for pupils, in line with Government guidance.

The special school and PRU headteachers will continue to determine which pupils will be prioritised depending on available staff and will update parents, carers and children's services as required.

If necessary, the headteachers will develop a weekly rota system for families so that more pupils have access to the specialist hubs over time.  We appreciate the patience and understanding of our families as we make these arrangements.

There may be a need for a weekly staff rota going forward.  In addition, if required, other special educational needs specialists from across Powys may be asked to join the permanent school staff, again on a rota basis. 

For those pupils who are not attending the specialist hubs, the schools/PRU will continue to keep in regular contact with the families and will provide learning opportunities for the pupils while they are at home.

Over the coming months, local authority officers will continue to work with the schools/PRU to review the situation, in order to make sure that we can provide the best possible support for our most vulnerable young people.

Free School Meal allocation to entitled pupils

There will be no packed lunches provided from today (27th March). However we have managed to set up a voucher scheme with Tesco stores, but only Tesco’s at the moment. I know this is not suitable for everyone as we only have 4 stores across Powys. However we have now confirmed that we can now pay an allowance into parents bank accounts for FSM up until the end of term. Therefore our Income & Awards team are working on this just now to make payments to parents where they have bank details. An online form will also be put onto the Powys website for parents to provide details or they will be contacted via phone.

The Welsh Government are arranging a National Voucher scheme for supermarket vouchers, more details will follow about this.

Jason Rawbone MCGI
Professional Lead Catering & Cleaning /Arweinydd Proffesiynol Arlwyo a Glanhau

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