WALES’ first purpose built combined primary and secondary Welsh-medium community school will be officially opened by Kirsty Williams in Llandysul today (Sept 29).
This new concept for education in the area is the result of six years of feasibility studies and consultation by both the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme and Ceredigion County Council.
Designed in conjunction with teachers, pupils and education advisers, the state-of-the art facility links all phases of learning on a single site, providing 60 reception/nursery places, 360 primary places and 678 secondary places.
Ysgol Bro Teifi is the result of the merger of Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi secondary school with Aberbanc, Coed y Bryn, Pontsian and Llandysul primary schools. Ysgol Bro Teifi will provide pupils of all ages with a truly 21st century education experience.
The school has separate ‘wings’ whereby higher and lower schools are not in the same space at any one time. However, the design allows the entire school to access the very latest equipment and facilities, from the astro-turf sports field to the stage, lighting, bleacher seating and drama studio, green room and recording studio.
The local community will also have access to the school’s 450 seat performance facility, sports facilities and recording studio.
Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams, said: “It’s too easy to think of schools today as serving a single purpose: a – place where teachers teach and students learn. An integrated, focused school like this is more akin to a smart phone. The school and community can connect, collaborate, and create.
“Bro Teifi really is a community school in the broadest sense. The array of facilities available for both the pupils and public alike has created a school that invites you in and I’m delighted to formally open it today.”
Headteacher Robert Jenkins said: “As a school community, we’re delighted to take ownership of our new school and greatly appreciate the investment and support provided by the Welsh Government and Ceredigion County Council.
“Both staff and pupils were integral to the decisions made during the initial design consultation and the subsequent implementation of these ideas and are now thrilled with the result.
“It is a truly innovative facility that will enhance our ability to provide our pupils with a truly integrated learning journey. Being under one roof has already enhanced our mutual understanding of the strengths and needs across the sectors and the advantages of being able to share resources, both physically in terms of equipment and with regards to staffing, are beginning to enrich our pupils’ learning experiences.”
Council Leader Ellen ap Gwynn said: “I am especially grateful to the Welsh Government for their support via the 21st Century Schools Programme. Without this support, it would not have been possible for this project to come to fruition.
“As the first school of its kind in Wales, this is an example of Ceredigion leading the way, by providing an innovative school of the highest quality to meet modern educational needs for pupils in the local district, as well as for generations to come.
“I have every confidence that Ysgol Bro Teifi will make an important contribution towards the excellent provision of education that is being offered in Ceredigion.”
Retail premises now required to take extra measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus
New requirements have now come into force that require retail premises to take additional steps to protect workers and customers from coronavirus.
The additional measures were already guidance, but are now legal requirements. This includes businesses selling food or drink for consumption off the premises. These legal requirements include the need to:
- Ensure systems are in place for controlling entry to the premises and to limit the number of customers in store at any one time;
- Provide hand sanitisation products or hand washing facilities for the use of customers when they enter and exit the premises;
- Introduce measures to sanitise any baskets, trolleys or similar containers provided for use by customers on the premises;
- Remind customers to maintain a distance of 2 metres between each other and to wear a face covering by:
o Displaying signs and other visual aids throughout the premises;
o Making announcements on a regular basis;
- Undertake and record a specific assessment of the risk of exposure to coronavirus at the premises and in doing so consult persons working on the premises or representatives of those persons (where a business employs five or more people);
All premises are still required to take all other reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus, such as:
- Changing the layout of premises including the location of furniture and workstations;
- Controlling use of entrances, passageways, stairs and lifts;
- Controlling use of shared facilities such as toilets and kitchens;
- Otherwise controlling the use of, or access to, any other part of the premises;
- Installing barriers or screens;
- Providing or requiring use of personal protective equipment
The Regulations and guidance may be found at Coronavirus legislation and guidance on the law on the Welsh Government website: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-legislation-and-guidance-law and also guidance to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus in workplaces and premises open to the public: https://gov.wales/taking-all-reasonable-measures-minimise-risk-exposure-coronavirus-workplaces-and-premises-open
Useful posters and guides are available from Business Wales website: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/tool-kit. A COVID-19 risk assessment template is available from Health and Safety Executive – What to include in your COVID-19 risk assessment: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/assets/docs/risk-assessment.pdf
Ceredigion County Council remembers the Holocaust on International Holocaust Day
THIS year Ceredigion County Council, along with many other Local Authorities across the United Kingdom, will illuminate two of Aberystwyth town’s most iconic buildings in a show of solidarity, respect, and honour to all victims of genocide. From Friday 22 through to Thursday 28 January, the Bandstand on Aberystwyth’s seafront and the Alun R Edwards Centre will be lit up purple.
Holocaust Memorial Day is an international event which takes place annually on January 27, the purpose of the day is to encourage remembrance of all victims of genocide world-wide, including honouring the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, the millions of people killed under Nazi Persecution and in the genocides that have happened since in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 is Be the light in the darkness. It encourages everyone to reflect on the depth’s humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.
Holocaust Memorial Day is for everyone. Each year across the UK, people come together to learn more about the past and take action to create a safer future. Although this year we are unable to hold any actual events in person due to the ongoing pandemic, this does not mean that we cannot mark this extremely important day.
Ceredigion County Council Leader, Councillor Ellen Ap Gwynn, said: “On Holocaust Memorial Day let us all take the opportunity to reflect on the atrocities committed in the past and to shine a light to lead us to a more humane way of treating our fellow citizens of the world, whatever their colour or creed, in future.
“It is vital to remember and raise awareness that the Holocaust threatened the fabric of civilisation, and genocide must still be resisted every day.
“Our world often feels fragile and vulnerable and we cannot be complacent. Even in the UK, prejudice and the language of hatred exist and must be challenged by us all.
“Together we bear witness for those who endured genocide and honour the survivors & all those whose lives were changed beyond recognition.”
Paul Davies MS quits as Leader of the Conservatives in the Senedd
PRESELI Pembrokeshire MS Paul Davies quit as Leader of the Conservatives in the Senedd this morning.
The Conservatives’ Chief Whip also quit his frontbench role.
The dramatic move comes only 24 hours after Mr Davies got the Conservative Senedd Group’s unanimous backing.
However, later yesterday (Friday, Jan 21) – as criticism poured in – the Welsh Conservatives’ Executive met. In that meeting, Constituency Chairs reported widespread disbelief and anger among the Party’s members. Conservative Party Chair, Lord Davies of Gower, received particular criticism for a lack of leadership. Simon Hart, Secretary of State for Wales, also attended the meeting and was left in no doubt of the strength of feeling within the Party.
In a statement issued via the Conservative Senedd media office, Mr Davies said: “I am truly sorry for my actions on the 8th and 9th December. They have damaged the trust and respect that I have built up over 14 years in the Welsh Parliament with my colleagues and the wider Conservative Party but more importantly with the people of Wales.
“Whilst using the Senedd facilities at all times my colleagues and I maintained social distancing. There was no drunk or disorderly behaviour. We did not have to be escorted out of the building as some reports have suggested. What we did was to have some alcohol with a meal we heated up in a microwave, which was a couple of glasses of wine on Tuesday and a beer on Wednesday.
I broke no actual Covid-19 regulations.
“For the last 10 months of the pandemic, I have followed the Covid-19 regulations to the letter. As with everyone across Wales, I have not seen family members or friends, I’ve not eaten at my favourite restaurants and, like you, we enjoyed a subdued Christmas compared to other years. I will continue to follow the Welsh Government’s Covid-19 Regulations and I would urge everyone to play their part in defeating this virus so that we can all return to normality.
“My priority as Leader of the Welsh Conservative Group in the Welsh Parliament has always been to bring the Conservatives into government in Wales. Our main focus as the Welsh Conservatives must always be on challenging and removing a failing Labour government.
“I am grateful for the support of colleagues in the Welsh Conservative Party for their support in this difficult time, and especially to my wife Julie and my Senedd colleagues who have offered empathy, trust and advice. They have treated me with the same courtesy and decency I hope I have always extended to others.
“Over the last couple of days, I have been speaking with colleagues in the Senedd and the wider Conservative Party. Whilst they have confirmed they do not wish to see me step down, I believe that my actions are becoming a distraction from holding this failing Welsh Labour-led Government to account, not just on their rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines but from more than 20 years of their dither, delay and failure. Yesterday I indicated to the Conservative group in the Welsh Parliament that I wished to resign, but they urged me to reflect further, and we agreed to meet again on Monday. However, for the sake of my party, my health and my own conscience, I simply cannot continue in post.
“Therefore, I am stepping down as Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Welsh Parliament with immediate effect.”
“It is for the group to decide how best to choose a new leader, but I hope that process will be seamless and speedy, and I pledge my support to whoever becomes leader.”
Darren Millar blamed ‘wildly inaccurate and unfair reports’ and said:
“There was a member of catering staff present in the tea room for a short time after my arrival on the 8th December but she did not serve me a drink, nor did I request one. In fact, I encouraged the member of staff to go home and close up the counter as it had been a long day for her. No members of catering staff were present on the 9th December and the counter was closed for the whole evening.
“While I am advised that I did not breach coronavirus regulations I am very sorry for my actions, especially given the impact of the tough restrictions that people and businesses are enduring.
“For this reason, and given that Paul Davies has resigned as Welsh Conservative Group Leader in the Senedd, I have decided to step down from my front bench role in the Welsh Parliament.
“I am cooperating fully with ongoing investigations and will continue to do so.”
Whoever replaces Paul Davies, the role is likely to an interim appointment ahead of a vote of the Party membership after the Senedd election.
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