21st February 2021

Home learning update and Welsh Government law change.

Dear Parent/Carer,

I hope you and your family are well. Please remind your child that home learning continues from Monday 22nd February at 8.30 am. At present we still do not know when pupils will be able to return to school. Friday’s announcement from the First Minister stated, “Our youngest learners will begin going back to school from 22nd February and, if the situation continues to improve over the next three weeks, we hope more primary school children and older students will be able to return from 15th March.” This suggests that some secondary age pupils may be able to return to school on 15th March and most probably Year 11 will be prioritised to return first. As more information emerges, we shall continue to keep you informed at each stage.

Welsh Government Law Change regarding smoke-free spaces

From 1st March 2021, all school grounds in Wales will become smoke-free spaces.

Wales becomes the first country in the UK to extend its smoking ban to certain outdoor areas. Smoking in smoke-free spaces – which not only includes school grounds but also public playgrounds, outdoor day-care and child-minding settings as well as hospital grounds – from 1st March could result in a £100 fine.

As a school we acknowledge the important role we play in protecting everyone from harmful second-hand smoke and we especially recognise the important role that adults have in influencing the attitudes and smoking behaviour of children and young people. Banning smoking in places where children and young people spend their time will denormalise smoking and reduce the chances of children and young people to start smoking in the first place– ultimately saving lives.

Please be assured we deal swiftly and appropriately when, on the exceedingly rare occasions, that pupils have brought cigarettes/lighters into school in the past. We view such actions as a profoundly serious violation of the school code of conduct, we are therefore pleased to learn that the Welsh Government has reinforced this view in a legal sense. I look forward to having your support to ensure we all play our part in building a healthier future.

Those looking for help to stop smoking can access Wales’ free NHS support service Help Me Quit on 0800 085 2219 or visit https://www.helpmequit.wales for help and support, including access to free stop smoking medication.

Finally, please continue to ask for help if your child needs additional support with their home learning. As ever, we shall do our very best to work through any problems together.

Yours sincerely,

Mr. G. Rees