Question from: County Councillor David Jones Subject: School term
Does Powys LEA support 3 weeks or 4 weeks for schools in this term?
Response by the Portfolio Holder:
Powys Local Authority is supporting four weeks with term ending on 24th July. The reasons for this are various, but include:
a) Seeking to make good use of schools during a time when the R rate and infections across Wales (outside Anglesey’s hotspot) is at a low point, giving us more certainty than we may have later in the year.
b) Bringing learners back into carefully managed school environments after an unprecedented length of detachment from schools, with growing concerns about the mental health and wellbeing of many of our children and young people.
c) Seeking to use this time to help support learners with their wellbeing, but also to build up their skills for what might be a further extended period of distance and blended learning. Many colleagues have expressed concerns particularly about the wellbeing of and support for learners in the current year 10 and year 12. The unpredictability that faces that group for the next year is a serious concern, given the significance of that year in their lives. Our secondary schools are fully committed to supporting them, and can use the additional time in July to help equip them to be the best they can be in facing the coming months, helping them with planning their work and embedding their skills for blended learning.
d) Allocating a two week half-term holiday in October. At the moment, the statistical modelling is suggesting that October might be a particularly difficult time in terms of pandemic spread. Our schools will therefore be closed for two weeks in that month, but with our pupils better equipped for the next phase of blended learning than they could have imagined back in March.