Powys Council has welcomed plans to reopen schools fully from the first week of September.

The council is now working with schools in the area to review risk assessment, processes and systems to ensure individual schools can welcome pupils back safely in line with guidance by Welsh Government.

Schools which can do so will reopen from the first week of term, although some specific year groups at more critical points of their education – such as Year 7, 12, 13 and Special Units for Secondary, Special Units for Early Years and Year 6 – may be prioritised.

Parents will receive more specific information from their school and the council as it becomes available.

From September 14, school attendance will be compulsory, and parents are being asked to contact their school if a pupil is unable to attend.

Work has also started on transport arrangements and staffing levels – supported by the announcement of a £29 million pot to increase staffing levels.

Cllr Phyl Davies, Powys's cabinet member for education and property, said: “Over the last few months, many learners will have felt anxious about loss of learning and not being able to see their friends. I welcome the Minister’s plan to allow schools to safely welcome pupils back in September in line with all necessary safety measures and Welsh Government guidance.

“We know hard working staff in schools, learners and their families may well be under additional emotional, financial and psychological pressure during this incredibly challenging period. We will continue to work closely with schools and settings to consider how best to support the ongoing well-being needs of all learners at this tough time.

“Pupils’ learning has been severely disrupted by the crisis. The £29m pledge by Welsh Government to recruit extra staff to support the recovery phase, minimise the impacts on pupils, and continue the ongoing work to raise school standards.

“I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and support over these difficult few months and I know that working by together, we will ensure the Autumn term return to school will be successful.”