Powys Council is to set up "regional hubs" to allow children of key workers to continue to attend school next week.

Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams announced on Wednesday that all school would close for normal education provision today (Friday), to help slow the spread of coronavirus, but they will be used to support key workers and children identified by the local authority.

Now Powys Council has said schools will remain open on Monday and Tuesday for the children of those classed as key workers, while it sets up the regional centres for children to attend from Wednesday.

The council has also identified which children need to go to their usual school to address their specific needs during that period.

Powys Council’s cabinet member for education, Councillor Phyl Davies said: “The council is developing plans to provide regional centres to support essential emergency workers, NHS staff and social care workers. The plans include having appropriate transport, catering and cleaning available at the selected sites.

“On Monday and Tuesday, we expect all schools to be open so that the children of key workers can attend, and transport and food will be provided. This will allow us to assess demand and plan for regional hubs that will operate from Wednesday onwards and for the foreseeable future. The council has also identified children with specific needs who will also go to their usual school.

“We expect the children of parents who work in the NHS, care and health-related and emergency professions to go to their usual school. We will have food available for those children who receive free school meals. It is essential we have an accurate picture so that we can plan future provision on a limited number of sites."

Council chief executive Dr Caroline Turner added: “School staff who are not directly affected by the virus, don’t have underlying health issues or are not pregnant will continue to work, although their role may be very different. Their role could involve supporting learners remotely, developing digital platforms, supporting provision for the children of parents required for essential services, updating professional policies and supporting welfare activities.

“There is a great deal to do and our school staff, like others within the council, will be at the heart of activities.”

Those in health and social care, education and childcare, key public services, government, foods, public safety, transport and utilities are among those classed as key workers.