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Firebreak letter - from Lindsay Harvey Director of Education







Uned Cymorth Cyfarwyddiaeth Addysg a Chymorth i Deuluoedd  (UCCACD)

Education and Family Support Directorate –

Directorate Support Unit (EDSU)


Deialu uniongyrchol / Direct line: (01656) 642617


Ein cyf / Our ref: EDSU

Dyddiad / Date:  23 October 2020



Dear parent/carer


A short, sharp ‘firebreak’ will be introduced across Wales at the end of this week to help regain control of coronavirus. This means that a series of restrictive measures will be in place from 6pm on Friday 23 October until 12:01am on Monday 9 November 2020.


For further information about what the firebreak will mean, please refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the Welsh Government website:




While national and local measures put in place across Wales have helped to keep the spread of coronavirus under check, there is a growing consensus that additional action is now needed.  Increasing numbers of confirmed cases, the growing number of people being admitted to hospital with coronavirus symptoms and increasing numbers of deaths on a daily basis have led to these extra restrictions.

I would like to give you some information on how these new measures may affect your child and their education.


Which children will go back to school after the half-term break?


All primary school children and secondary school pupils in Year 7 and Year 8 will be able to attend school as normal from 2 November.


All children who attend a special school will also be able to return as normal. This includes Heronsbridge Special School, Ysgol Bryn Castell, The Bridge and all learning resource centres (LRCs) in both primary and secondary schools.


Remote learning will not be planned for these children and young people as they will receive direct teaching in the classroom.


Secondary school pupils in Years 9 upwards will not attend school for a further week after the half-term break. These pupils will be provided with remote learning opportunities.


All school-based staff will be in schools during the week commencing Monday 2 November.


Will remote learning be in place for children who cannot attend school?


I want to reassure you that remote learning opportunities, for all pupils required to stay at home during the second week of the firebreak, will be provided. It is very important that all pupils access and complete the remote learning activities provided by schools.


Many of you will have already experienced what remote learning means and how it is accessed. Nevertheless, I would encourage you to check with your school to get a full and up-to-date understanding of what is expected, when lessons start and what support is available.


Schools have worked hard to translate class based-learning into remote learning. It is important that pupils do not miss out on these learning opportunities.


Schools will not provide remote learning activities for children who attend primary schools, who are in Years 7 and 8 or who remain away from school (other than those who are ill or self-isolating) during the week commencing Monday 2 November.


Free school meal food parcels


All children eligible for a free school meal will receive a food parcel during the half-term break and also during the second week of the firebreak (ie the week commencing 2 November 2020), if they are not in one of the year groups eligible to attend school.


If you have previously opted-out of the free school meal food parcels, the local authority has assumed that you will not wish to receive one for half-term (including the week commencing 2 November 2020 if applicable to your child).


Unfortunately, individual special diets cannot be catered for with the frozen meals previously provided.  Therefore, a standard food parcel will be delivered to the homes of all eligble learners.


Learner travel


All home-to-school transport will run as normal for the week after half term (ie the week commencing Monday 2 November 2020).


It is important that pupils who are in Year 9 (and older pupils) remain at home during the week commencing Monday 2 November.


What should I do if my child is unwell?


While comprehensive arrangements are in place to minimise the risk of coronavirus within schools, all learners, their families, and staff play a vital role in protecting the school community. In this respect, we must ensure that we follow national guidance in relation to coronavirus at all times, as well as the specific arrangements established within each setting.


Please remember, irrespective of their year group, if your child is unwell at home, has any of the three identified coronavirus symptoms outlined below, or has tested positive for coronavirus, please do not send your child to school.


The main symptoms of coronavirus are:


  • a high temperature - chest or back feels hot to the touch;
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours; and/or
  • a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.


If your child has any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:


  • get a test to check if they have coronavirus as soon as possible; and
  • stay at home and do not have visitors until you get the test result.


In addition, please do not send your child to school if anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus, is awaiting test results, or has tested positive for coronavirus in the past 14 days and follow the self-isolation stay at home guidance from Welsh Government.


If, however, your child does not have symptoms of coronavirus but has other cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, they do not need to be tested and they do not need to self-isolate.


Thank you, once again, for your ongoing support.


Yr eiddoch yn gywir/Yours sincerely




Lindsay Iorwerth Harvey (Mr)


Uned Cymorth Cyfarwyddiaeth Addysg a Chymorth i Deuluoedd (UCCACD)

Education and Family Support Directorate Support Unit (EDSU)​