The Welsh Government has announced that schools will continue with online learning until January 18.
This decision has been made as a result of medical and scientific advice and the rising number of new cases which is putting considerable pressure on the health service.
While schools may be safe environments for education, there is an impact on the R number of associated activity around schools.
Your school will provide you with further information and support on learning from home during this time.
Keeping our schools open is one of main priorities, however, the situation is very serious and it is important that we follow the advice to stay home and protect our health service.
Schools will make on-site provision for children of critical workers (see Welsh Government guidance) as well as vulnerable children where absolutely necessary, however, it is important that children remain at home wherever possible, as this is the safest place for everyone.
We are asking schools to make this on-site provision available from Monday, January 11.
Wales is currently in the highest level of restrictions and we must try to limit the interaction between individuals as much as possible to restrict the transmission of the COVID-19 variant.
Therefore, it is vital that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. It is important to remember that family or friends are now able to help with childcare, which was not the case back in March.
We must protect our learners, staff and their families by minimising the number of children attending school at this time, so we are urging parents to please consider very carefully whether it is absolutely essential that your child receives a place.
Being included on the list does not mean workers in these categories can or will send their children to school. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept safely at home.
Parents should not apply for places if they are not scheduled to work and have not exhausted all other possible childcare options for example, some parents may be able to amend their usual working arrangements to address childcare needs, or they or their partner are able to work from home.
This provision is available during usual school hours for primary pupils and for pupils aged 12 or younger in secondary schools, as well as for pupils that attend specialist provision or pupil referral units.
Children will be able to access their distance learning within the school setting, so it is important that they bring any work packs provided by their teacher, as well as their iPad etc if it has been provided by the school.
Pupils will also need to bring in a packed lunch. If your child is entitled to free school meals, you will receive payments during this time, more information.
Your school will provide you with a booking form, places will need to be booked in advance so that schools can make sure they have adequate staffing in place.
It may be necessary for a headteacher to request further supporting evidence (e.g. ID badge) confirming role to establish if parents meet eligibility.