In response to Penweddig building being used to form part of Ysbyty Enfys Aberystwyth, contingency plans have been put in place if pupils were to return gradually to school before September 2020.
Aberystwyth University has kindly offered Ceredigion County Council the use of buildings and resources, so education can be provided up until the natural end of the Summer Term in July 2020.
The space available to the Council will be on Penglais Campus. The Council and the University are now working together to finalise the logistics of how this will work, within the parameters of Government restrictions.
Meinir Ebbsworth, Chief Education Officer said: “We are very pleased that one of our schools was ready to assist Hywel Dda University Health Board in a time of great need. We do, however, hope that the location will not be needed for use as a hospital and that our efforts to control the infection will be effective enough. We are grateful for Aberystwyth Unversity for their generosity and great working relationship. If needed, these facilities will ensure pupils can receive an education in safe and appropriate surroundings.”
No announcement has been made in relation to pupils returning to school. When that announcement comes, the Council will act in accordance with the guidelines at the time. The Education Minister's announcement last week stated that pupils’ return to schools will be a gradual process and that no date has been set for this.
The Council do not yet know if these contingency arrangements will be needed. However, these plans are in place to ensure that groups of Penweddig pupils will be able to re-enter their formal education at the same time as all other similar pupils in the county. The Council is very grateful to the University for their very ready co-operation in these unprecedented times.
The National Health Service have confirmed that they will not be using the Penweddig building after the summer period. Pupils will be able to return to the Penwedig site safely in September 2020 after a thorough de-commissioning and cleaning process which will happen over several weeks prior to the start of the autumn term.
Andrea James, Director of Estates, Facilities and Residences for Aberystwyth University said: We are grateful to be able to make our facilities available to the school and the county. This is the latest in a series of steps the University is taking to use our resources and expertise in the fight against the virus within our community, as well as nationally and internationally. In these very challenging times, the central role we play within our community is more important than ever.”