Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest Education Information
Arrangements for Free School Meals
In line with the latest Welsh Government Guidance, Blaenau Gwent Council is offering a direct payment for free school meals. The weekly sum of £19.50 per/child (which equates to £3.90 per day - £1.00 breakfast and £2.90 for lunch) is available for children and young people who normally access their full-time education in Blaenau Gwent and are currently of statutory school age (i.e. Reception to Year 11).
Payments will be paid directly into a bank/building society or post office account via BAC’s payment. The £19.50 payment will be issued to cover the weekly costs of your child/children’s free school meal(s). The money is to be used in order to pay for nutritious food for your child/children.
Direct payments are only available for children and young people who are eligible for free school meals and attend schools within Blaenau Gwent. If your child or children attend school outside of Blaenau Gwent, then you will need to apply to/contact the Local Authority in which the school is situated for your details of free school meals entitlement. Please note, you should only complete an application if your child/children are eligible for free school meals. Guidance relating to free school meal eligibility can be found via the following link: https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/resident/housing-benefit/welfare-reform/free-school-meals-clothing-grants/
To complete an application for direct payment, please visit the following link:
If you have already made a direct application which has been approved, you will not need to re-apply.
Parents/carers will be contacted upon approval of a fully completed and eligible application, in order to confirm details of payment.
If your children are not entitled to free school meals and you and/or your family are facing hardship as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, meaning that you require help and support, please visit the Council’s website via the following link, to access information on options which may be available to you: https://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/en/resident/emergencies-crime-prevention/local-help-support-covid-19/
Childcare Hubs Provision
Childcare options will be available for key workers only (please refer to the eligibility criteria below for more information).
Blaenau Gwent has 4 re-purposed hubs located within the county borough, along with 2 re-purposed hubs for pupils who require special school provision:
1. Abertillery Learning Community - Tillery Street Campus will be hosting provision on behalf of the Abertillery cluster (inclusive of service provision for the following schools: all ALC Campuses – primary and secondary, Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Helyg, St Illtyd’s Primary School and Sofrydd Primary School).
2. Brynmawr Foundation School and Blaen y Cwm Primary School will be hosting provision for the Brynmawr cluster (inclusive of service provision for the following schools: St Mary’s Church in Wales Primary School, St Mary’s Roman Catholic School, Coed y Garn Primary School and Ystruth Primary School).
3. Ebbw Fawr Learning Community Secondary Campus will be hosting provision on behalf the Ebbw Vale cluster (inclusive of service provision for the following schools: the EFLC Primary Campus, All Saints Roman Catholic Primary School, Beaufort Hill Primary School, Cwm Primary School, Glyncoed Primary School, Rhos y Fedwen Primary School and Willowtown Primary School).
4. Tredegar Comprehensive School and Glanhowy Primary School will be hosting provision on behalf of the Tredegar/Sirhowy cluster (inclusive of service provision for the following schools: Bryn Bach Primary School, Deighton Primary School, Georgetown Primary School, and St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School).
5. Pen y Cwm Special School will host provision for their respective pupil populations in line with vulnerable pupil and key worker assessments.
The model has been developed in consideration of the latest guidance from Public Health Wales and Welsh Government, and inconsideration of pupil and staff safety.
Application Information and Guidance
Guidance – please read the information contained within the following link carefully before completing the form: http://gov.wales/5-things-you-need-know-sending-your-children-school-or-childcare
Eligible parents can now apply for a place for childcare provision that will begin on Monday, 1st June 2020 for 4 weeks.
Eligibility is based on:
• Single parents who are employed as specific key worker
• Where both parents are employed as specific key workers
• Please note, we will consider key workers whereby there are exceptional circumstances on a case by case basis i.e. if your role is critical to maintaining frontline services during the COVID-19 outbreak and you have no other childcare option.
Please will be considered for key workers working in the following sectors:
• Health and Social Care
• Education and Childcare
• Public Safety and National Security
• Key Public Service Workers
• Local and National Government
• Food and other necessary goods
• Transport Workers
• Utilities, Communication and Financial Services
Schools will not be delivering formal learning but are repurposed hubs to assist with the care of the children of key workers. Places should not be requested for children who, based on Public Health Wales advice, should be self-isolating or socially distancing.
Applications will be reviewed every 4 weeks to ensure that childcare provision is definitely required and that we have available places.
The sixth application round will be open from 9am on Monday, 25th May 2020 until 5pm on Wednesday, 27th May 2020.
Applications should be completed by parents if they feel they will require assistance with childcare provision during the 4 week period.
An application form can be requested outside of the admissions round but must only be submitted where there are exceptional circumstances.
Applications will require a quick turnaround in order to secure places.
Parents will be contacted to confirm placement via e-mail and/or telephone.
Please note that this link will be live from 9am on Monday morning.
To apply please visit the following link: https://iweb.itouchvision.com/portal/f?p=customer:category_link:::::CUID,LANG:A1FD8385EF9B3B76564675E05314071A8BC0C385,EN&P_LANG=en
Latest Welsh Government Information:
To keep up to date with the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19) please follow the link to the Welsh Government website below:
Welsh Government is publishing regular updates and guidance and the latest information is below.
- Free School Meal & Shielding Support FAQ’s
- Welsh Government - Education Update 22.05.2020
- Welsh Government - Education Update 20.05.2020
- Welsh Government - Education Update 19.05.2020
- Welsh Government - Education Update 19.05.2020
- Welsh Government - Education Update 15.05.2020
- Welsh Government - Education Update 13.03.2020
- Welsh Government - Education Update 04.05.2020
- Welsh Government - Education Update 20.03.2020
- WG Letter to Flying Start, Families First, Family Information and Childcare Services - (ENG) 08.04.20
- WG Letter to Flying Start, Families First, Family Information and Childcare Services - (CYM) 08.04.20