Staged return of children to early years settings and schools
|From the week beginning 1 June, and conditional on the national COVID 19 situation, the Government is proposing that mainstream provision is extended to include early years settings, all primary school pupils in reception, Year One and Year Six as part of a staged return to school.|
|The proposals also include the provision of face-to-face contact for pupils in Year 10 and 12.|
|The Council, early years providers and school leaders are currently discussing how this can be implemented safely for pupils and staff, following Government guidelines. You can read these in full here.|
|Children of key workers and vulnerable pupils will continue to be given priority.|
|Please note early years settings are being asked to open to all children but must carry out a risk assessment to ascertain how many children they can safely accommodate at any one time. Settings may therefore reduce the numbers of children they can safely care for and where this is the case priority will be given to 3 and 4 year-olds in the first instance.|
|Similarly, it may be that, because of specific circumstances, not all schools will be able to offer full time provision to the year groups set out in the government guidance. Head teachers will be contacting parents and carers to advise what provision they will be able to make.|
|Each educational setting is different, and we all need to support the professionalism and judgement of education leaders who will be making difficult decisions over the next few weeks and months, based on the context of their setting and community.|
|The government is also proposing the return of all primary school pupils, if possible, for up to a month before the beginning of the summer holidays. We are awaiting further details on this.|
We have made a further revision to our timetable effective from this coming Monday (18th), with an additional service in the morning running from Westbury to Weymouth.
This service leaves Westbury at 0652, departing Dorchester West at 0808 and terminating at Weymouth at 0820. It will then form the return working 0849 service from Weymouth to Westbury.
See the timetable here.
Fly tipping is increasing-please report it online:
We have been overwhelmed by the support for Cary Cares from people in the town. It is both encouraging and moving to have so many people giving generously to help their neighbours.
Both of us who have been very involved in setting up and running Cary Cares also have other concerns. Save the Children depends a great deal for its international work on the money raised in its charity shops. And they are all currently closed. Next week is Christian Aid Week and normally Christian Aid raises a substantial proportion of its income during the Week which, in this town, involves a coffee morning and door to door deliveries and collection. Neither can happen this year.
But the development projects and relief work that these organisations do are as necessary as ever. If coronavirus spreads into communities which have more basic health care than ours, or through overcrowded refugee camps, the suffering will be considerable. While we are focussed on the needs of people in our own locality please also support organisations such as Christian Aid and Save the Children who continue to work with some of the world’s poorest people.
If you have another aid organisation that you prefer to support, please give to them. We are not in competition! We just work in different ways with different networks. And if there is a need and an opportunity to do so, we work together. The important thing is that people get the help they need.
Ainsley Creedy, Fund Raising Volunteer, Save the Children UK.
David Osborne, Chair of Christian Aid in Castle Cary and Ansford.
Just to add to the problems we all have to face at the moment, there will be a road closure on Station Road just before it joins the A371 at the bottom of Ansford Hill. Any vehicle travelling from Shepton Mallet to any place in Station Road beyond the closure will need to travel up Ansford Hill, down North Street and around the town to Station Road. Anyone wanting to travel from Station Road towards Shepton will have to go through the town and up North Street, onto the A371 and down Ansford Hill.
The diversion takes vehicles all around the town; we hope that HGVs won’t be directed unnecessarily through the town, but please let Highways know if this happens.
To report a problem please click on the website: https://www.somerset.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/
If you’d prefer to phone: SCC Highways Dept –0300 123 2224
|Appeal goes out for short-term foster carers|
|Somerset County Council is appealing for potential short-term foster carers to come forward to help children and young people during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency.
Recruits will help care for children looked after, aged 0-18, and will be provided with all the support given to mainstream foster carers including a supervising social worker and weekly fee and allowance. The Council is keen to hear from those who have had an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check in the last 12 months in any other role.
“It does not matter if you are single or in a relationship, if you are a homeowner or renting, or whether you have children of your own – anyone can be a foster carer. We need carers as diverse as the children in our care,” said Councillor Frances Nicholson, Cabinet member for Children and Families.
“Children need a safe and secure home and in these very difficult times that is more important than ever.”
The County Council will assess candidates as COVID-19 Short Term Foster Carers completing a condensed assessment and intensive training.
A home visit will be required as part of the assessment and social distancing will be maintained.
Once assessed, a panel – meeting virtually – will consider the carer and a decision can be made. If the candidate is approved as a short-term carer, they can care for a child for up to three months. There will be a review every four weeks to make sure the carer has the right support and can still care for the child.
Allowances currently start at £143.57 per week for each child, plus a minimum of £75 per week foster carer fee. Payments are higher for an older child or for those caring for more than one child.
At the end of the three months, carers can consider moving towards a full fostering role or end their involvement with the child moving to alternative longer-term carers
To apply or find out more information contact Fostering In Somerset on 0800 587 9900, visit www.fosteringinsomerset.org.uk.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed towards Cary Cares since we first made an appeal a week ago.
As of 17th April, £8,760 has been given.
This is a great help and the result of many generous donations. The money will go towards paying for food boxes for people who find themselves at the moment unable to buy the food and other essentials they need; crediting people who, because of the lockdown can’t access money they have; and our very small running expenses.
Over a hundred volunteers from across Castle Cary and Ansford are involved in Cary Cares: helping with collecting medicines and shopping; contacting people who are feeling cut off; helping with emergency electricity or gas top-ups; and supplying and delivering the food boxes which are our alternative to a food bank. Thank you to all of them as well.
Across the town and the surrounding area many more people are helping neighbours with shopping and other tasks during the epidemic. Congratulations to all who are putting themselves out to help others. Cary Cares is pleased to be a part of a big network of caring neighbours.
If you need us, we’re here: 01963 351362 from 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or [email protected]
Secretary of Churches Together in Castle Cary and Ansford.