Arrangements for schools during COVID-19


The Welsh Government has directedschools to close for statutory education from today (Friday 20 March, 2020), as part of the Government efforts to reduce of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Cardiff has developed a revised solution to support this goal.


Our priority is to reduce the impact of the virus by significantly reducing social contact and movement around the city, whilst supporting the needs of the city and the most vulnerable children.




The Council will provideappropriate provision and supervision for children aged 3 to 14 of key workerson a phased basis, with all schools to open on Monday 23rdMarch, in the first instance for the following prioritised groups;health care, social careandemergency workers. This position will remain under review.


By the end of the week the Council will then work with schools in light of the demand for provision, to set up an appropriate number of hubs across the city that will be managed by staff from existing local schools.


It is anticipated that these hubs will be open from 7:30am - 6pm for the children of designated key workers. This will not be education provision but will instead include skill-based engagement activities and meals.


In view of the need to reduce the amount of contact between people where possible,this support should only called upon if required.


The Council will continue to work with private and voluntary sector childcare providers to ensure that available childcare is in place for children ages 0-3, including for key workers, particularly in the vicinity of the Heath Hospital. All Flying Start settings will continue to operate as normal and will remain open, other than during the Easter holiday.


Supporting vulnerable young people

Schools will continue to identify and support any vulnerable children and will continue to make contact through phone contact.It will not be possible to sustain daily contact with every family of a child with additional needs, however each schoolwill allocate staff to ensure regular contact to offer support and supervision.


The Council is also working with partners and colleagues in health, education and social care to identify the highest risk children in most need of support. Where required additional support will be provided remotely and face to face. 



Provision of free school meals

There are in excess of 12,000 pupils across the city eligible for a Free School Meal and we are currently working up plans to ensure that children who usually receive Free School Meals will not miss out whilst their school is closed.


This is going to be a significant task however. The aim is to provide a grab-bag each day which will be prepared in one of seven locations around the city and distributed to a wider range of locations for pick up.


We will be asking schools to be ready to receive these grab bags each morning and make arrangements with families for them to be collected and consumed off site.


Going forward we are working with partners to assess their capacity and ability to produce a more substantial meal offer, however this is going to take a few days to set up.


Parents or carers of children eligible for Free School Meals will be contacted by their local school.


The specific locations of hubs, longer term specialist provision and Free School Meal drop offs will be confirmed bylater next week.



The Council is working with schoolsto maintain aremote educational offer for all children. Anumber of online platforms are being used very effectively across the city and schools will be making sure that staff continue to upload teaching and learning materials to Hwb, whilst developing innovative approaches to curriculum delivery.


The situation is rapidly changing and arrangements for schools will be kept under constant review. Please follow our social media channels for regular updates.



Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "The Council is working with school staff around the clock to put plans in place forremote educational provision for all children, arrangements for the children of some key worker groups, vulnerable children and delivery of free school meals for eligible children.


"This is not a straightforward or easy task and our staff are willingly adapting as the situation changes day by day. Our priority is to stop the spread of the virus and I would like to thank everyone for their ongoing hard work in helping to find solutions under very difficult circumstances. Patience and understanding is greatly appreciated as we work to deliver provision and support through this challenging time."