With a safe and organised return for learners aged three to seven (Early Years and Reception classes and Years One and Two) taking place this week, Powys County Council and Powys Teaching Health Board are also reminding parents of the steps we can all take to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
The local authority and local public health experts will be writing this week to parents of returning pupils with advice and guidance to help keep families safe.
Stuart Bourne, Powys Teaching Health Board’s Director of Public Health, said:
“The pandemic has had an impact on all of our lives but our children have been affected more than most. I know that parents will have been worried about the impact that not being at school has had on their children’s wellbeing, their friendships and their opportunity to grow and develop through a range of in and out of school activities whether that is sport, music, dance, arts or other activities.
“The steps that we have had to take as a society to protect those who are most at risk and to ensure that our health and care services can continue to care for us when we need them have been difficult but necessary. The success of our local vaccination programme continues to provide additional protection to those who are most at risk and we will continue our efforts to reach everyone who needs a vaccination as quickly as we can.
“We are not able to relax yet, we still need to be careful and keep the levels of infection as low as possible. In managing the pandemic locally and protecting our population I work closely with my colleagues in the Health Board, the Local Council, voluntary and community organisations and Public Health Wales but we cannot succeed without your help and that of all of our local population.”
Headteachers and all their staff have worked very hard to make Powys schools as safe as possible. But, when children go back to school it is vital that everyone continues to help to control the spread of the virus by:
Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Property, said: "The safety of our learners and school staff is our main priority.
"With schools now beginning the phased return of learners, it is crucial that all families play their part by following the guidance here in Wales and do not mix outside of school to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Many parents and schools' staff are concerned when they hear reports of inter-family mixing at events such as sleepovers.
"Our schools are still open for children of critical workers as well as vulnerable learners in all age groups. However, a phased approach to opening schools is important to ensure the safety of our learners and staff, therefore other year groups need to remain at home.
“I would like to thank schools for their ongoing efforts to support pupils during this difficult time and I would also like to thank parents for their patience and co-operation during this unprecedented period of disruption to our schools."
“Thank you for your help in keeping the virus in check and helping us all return to normal as soon as we can.”
Please remember, all of Wales is in lockdown (alert level 4) where people must follow national guidelines and:
Everyone should follow this guidance whether or not they have received COVID-19 vaccination.
More information about what we will all need to do at Alert Level 4 is available from the Welsh Government Website at What you need to do at alert level 4.
For more information about COVID-19 testing in Powys, visit the health board’s website at www.pthb.nhs.wales/coronavirus/coronavirus-testing