Alert Section

Returning to School FAQ's

Update on arrangements for attendance from 12 April 2021

From 12 April, all schools across all settings will return to full-time onsite education provision for all learners.

Our Pupil Referral Unit, Plas Derwen, will continue with its current arrangements for all pupils.

Does my child have to wear a face covering when in school?

Primary aged children do not need to wear face coverings in school or on school transport.

Secondary aged children who are accessing face to face learning under the criteria outlined above should wear a face covering on school transport and anywhere on the school premises where social distancing cannot be maintained. Secondary aged learners should not wear face coverings when running round or playing active games.

Do parents/carers need to wear a face covering when dropping off and collecting children?

Visitors to the school setting should use a face covering, including parents and carers when dropping off and picking up learners and maintain social distancing whilst waiting for their children.

Do children have to wear school uniform?

Decisions regarding the wearing of school uniforms are a matter for individual schools' governing bodies. However, we would encourage all schools to return to their usual uniform policies as uniform can play a valuable role in contributing to the ethos of a school and setting an appropriate tone.

What can children bring from home?

We are encouraging pupils to bring their own re-fillable bottles of drinking water with them to school.   Individual schools will have considered the safest way to provide water to a pupil if they forget to bring in their own bottle, or if they need to refill their bottle.

Pupils should continue to limit the number of items they bring from home. Frequently used items such as pens and pencils can be brought in but not shared with others. Schools will ensure that other classroom resources are regularly cleaned.

Will parents be fined if they don’t send their children back to school?

Schools will continue to record attendance in the register and will follow up on absences of the learners who are expected to be in school, but where a parent/carer wishes for their child to be absent, Welsh Government expect schools to authorise the absence during this time. Approved absence will not be penalised.

Is school transport available?

Yes, for those pupils who have an entitlement to free transport.  All school transport routes will operate from Monday 12 April.

Will a school meal service be available for learners?

Yes, NEWydd catering are able to provide a full meal service to all schools so parents can purchase school meals for their children if they wish or provide them with a packed lunch.

What are the arrangements for families entitled to Free School Meals?

Direct payments (which are paid a week in advance) will stop for learners as follows:

  • On Friday 12 March for all  KS2 (Years 3-6)
  • On Friday 12 March for Years 11, 12 and 13
  • On Friday 19 March for Year 10
  • On Friday 10 April for Years 7, 8 and 9 

All pupils entitled to free school meals will receive a direct payment for the two week Easter holiday.  

My child only receives part time provision due to their age – is wrap around care available?

Yes, parents who normally use a combination of part time school and childcare to enable them to undertake their working commitments can still access these services. Parents will need to confirm their childcare requirements to their usual provider and to advise the school. This will enable schools and childcare settings to work together to minimise the number of contact bubbles these children will be part of to reduce the transmission of the virus.

Clinically vulnerable staff and learners

Learners who are self- isolating should not attend school.
Clinically extremely vulnerable learners are also advised not to attend school.
Parents should keep schools informed about the reason for their child’s absence so the registers can be accurately maintained. 

Please explain Lateral Flow Tests

Welsh Government has introduced twice weekly testing for staff members, pupils in Year 10 and above and learners on work-based Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes. 

Testing of the education workforce is already underway in Flintshire schools and is managed by the school.  Staff undertake their tests at home. Staff have been provided with the relevant advice and guidance.

Testing of older secondary pupils will begin from Monday 15 March. Tests will be distributed by the school and they are to be undertaken at home. Parents and pupils have been provided with the relevant advice and guidance.

It is important to highlight that the testing policy for schools in Wales should not be viewed as a ‘test to enable’ or ‘test to return’ to face to face learning i.e. it is not a condition of returning to education or requirement for anyone coming on to the school site. However, most Flintshire schools will encourage pupils to take the test before returning to school on Monday 15 March to identify any asymptomatic cases and reduce the risk of spreading infection and disrupting learning.

Testing is completely voluntary.