Ceredigion County Council would like to congratulate pupils receiving their GCSE results today.
The Welsh Government confirmed this week that Centre Assessed Grades will be used to award grades to all pupils in Wales. Centre Assessed Grades are based on a wide range of evidence of work completed by pupils prior to the lockdown.
We are aware that all pupils and teaching and support staff have faced new challenges this year as a result of the coronavirus, and we would like to congratulate each and every one for their hard work and their willingness to adapt in challenging times. These results today are valuable and enable pupils to step confidently into their next stage of choice, whether in the world of work, further education or in the sixth form.
As it is not possible for the pupils to go to their respective schools today to get their results in the usual way, the Head of each school in Ceredigion would like to congratulate all pupils in the county on their achievements and wish them well for the future.
Dorian Pugh, Head of Ysgol Henry Richard, said: “It has been a difficult time for our young people as they have had to finish their time at Ysgol Henry Richard earlier than usual. Although they have not had the full opportunity to prove themselves through an exam process, I hope that the pupils will be proud of their results which reflect a committed collaboration between themselves and the school staff. I would like to thank the pupils who receive their GCSE results this year for all their hard work and for being excellent pupils for the school, and I wish them all the best as they move into post-16 education or the world of work.”
Jane Wyn, Head of Ysgol Bro Pedr, said: “We are very proud of the pupils’ achievements and would like to take this opportunity to wish the pupils every success in the future. We look forward to welcoming many of the pupils back to Ysgol Bro Pedr’s sixth form in September. As a school, we believe that these results are a testimony to the pupils’ hard work, the school’s high standards of teaching and the support received from parents”.
Mair Hughes, Head of Penglais School, said: “Our Year 11 students have worked very hard this year, during these unprecedented times, to achieve their GCSE results. We are very proud of their progress and look forward to welcoming students back to the Sixth Form, and wish those moving on all the best in the future.”
Nicola James, Head of Cardigan Secondary School, said: “I warmly congratulate all the students on their well-deserved success and thank teaching staff for their detailed and principled work in preparing the centre assessed grades. Our focus continues to be on maximising the progress of every pupil across a broad range of subjects, and most of our students studied for between 12 and 14 GCSEs or equivalent qualifications and were regularly assessed throughout. We are proud of the achievements of all our students, which are the result of their hard work throughout the GCSE course of study, and the input of our excellent teaching and support staff who ensure high quality learning experiences and pastoral care for all students. We congratulate everyone on their success.”
Owain Jones, Head of Aberaeron Comprehensive School, said: “It is a privilege to congratulate our pupils on their excellent results. Although the past months have been different in terms of school experience, these results are well deserved and reflect the commitment of pupils to their studies, their hard work and the support of teachers and school staff and parents and carers. We are looking forward to welcoming a high percentage of pupils back to our sixth form and wish everyone who goes on to study at college, pursue an apprenticeship or enter the world of work the very best.”
Robert Jenkins, Head of Ysgol Bro Teifi, said: “The Head and staff of Ysgol Bro Teifi would like to thank the students for their efforts and contribution to the school life since it opened. Although it has been a challenging year for them, our students have responded maturely in unprecedented times. It will be great to welcome most students back to the Sixth Form in September and we wish every success to students who will undertake college courses, apprenticeships, or work. Hopefully there will be an opportunity to acknowledge their efforts in the near future.”
Rhian Bowen Morgan, Acting Head of Penweddig Comprehensive School, said: “As a school, we are very proud of the efforts made by our GCSE pupils and the way they have coped with the current challenges. They have worked diligently towards their results over a period of two years, and despite these unprecedented times, their qualifications remain to be of a high standard for their future.”
Councillor Catrin Miles, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member for Schools, Lifelong Learning and Skills, Support and Intervention, said: “Warmest congratulations yet again this year to Ceredigion pupils on their GCSE successes. Even with all the challenges caused by the pandemic, our young people have worked hard and these results are proof of their commitment. Our students’ GCSE qualifications this year will carry the same value and status as all previous years and we wish everyone well with their future plans.”
MP makes Budget case for support for self-employed and small businesses in Ceredigion
BEN LAKE MP has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the government’s financial support package for businesses and self-employed workers in next week’s Budget as many struggle to stay afloat during continued lockdown restrictions.
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak is to set out the UK Government’s budget on Wednesday 3 March, almost a year since the last Budget on 11 March 2020.
To help businesses and our local high streets over coming months, the Ceredigion MP has called on the Chancellor to extend the lowered rate of VAT at 5% for hospitality and tourism for a year to March 2022 and to extend the business rates relief package.
Mr Lake also called on the Chancellor to retain the furlough scheme for the duration of pandemic restrictions, as recent figures show more than 178,000* in Wales are still receiving government help from the CJRS. He also urged the Chancellor to expand the existing eligibility criteria for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme in order to offer some help to the many individuals who have not received a penny in Government support thus far.
Ben Lake MP said: “For many businesses and self-employed workers, the financial support government has offered over the last 12 months has been a lifeline. Now, as we are finally starting to see light at the end of the lockdown tunnel, we cannot remove this lifeline prematurely. Extending this help for a little longer, and expanding the criteria to help those that have been excluded thus far, would offer small businesses the support they require to ‘bounce back’ from the pandemic.”
Many businesses who are still not open due to lockdown measures are also now expected to start repaying their Bounce Back Loans. This is despite their situation largely remaining unchanged since they took out the loan, or in some unfortunate instances, worsened as they have not yet been able to trade.
UKHospitality has estimated that the hospitality sector lost around £72 billion in sales in 2020 and faces, frankly, a debt mountain, including £4.2 billion in state-backed loans.
Mr Lake said: “It is important that businesses that took out bounce back loans and CBILS are required to pay only when they are in a position to do so – once they have ‘bounced back’ from the pandemic. Affording such a level of flexibility, and thus preventing avoidable business failures, would protect jobs, the taxpayer’s investment in the recovery, and the integrity of our financial system.
“We remain in the early stages of a vaccine-led recovery, and it is likely that we will have some form of restrictions for many months to come. Having done so much to protect the economy and the workforce, we must not withdraw support prematurely, as to do so would risk throwing away the investment taxpayers have made in the last year, and potentially our economic recovery.”
Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50
EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.
While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.
Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:
- Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
- Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
- Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
- Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
- Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April
The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.
Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.
People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.
Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While our programme has had to slow due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.
“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.
“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.
“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.
“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”
People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.
The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.
Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.
Wales looking for third win in a row against England
WALES have won their first two games in the Six Nations Championship and on Saturday, February 27, they put that record on the line against great rivals England.
Having already beaten Ireland and Scotland, the Triple Crown will be on the line for Wales, a feat they last achieved in 2019 when they won the Grand Slam.
That will be incentive enough for Wayne Pivac’s men but to do it against England will make it that little bit sweeter.
With France’s game against Scotland on Sunday in doubt, it will also give the home side a great chance to extend their lead at the top of the table.
Wales do not have any fresh injury concerns going into the England game and it will likely provide a selection headache for Pivac.
George North could be set to make his 100th appearance for Wales if he plays against England, and is currently second in the list of all-time try scorers for his home country.
England lost their opening game of the tournament against Scotland but got back to winning ways with a resounding 41-18 win over Italy.
The 2020 Six Nations and Autumn Cup Champions will be eager to rediscover their winning form which brought them that success but they will not find it easy against Wales.
What happened the last time England visited the Principality Stadium?
Wales last welcomed England to the Principality on February 23, 2019, and it was a game which saw Wales earn a 21-13 victory.
Cory Hill and Josh Adams scored Wales’ tries in that match while Dan Biggar and Gareth Anscombe added the rest of the points from the boot.
Tom Curry scored England’s only try in that match while Farrell had a 100% success rate with his kicks.
What happened when the sides met in 2020?
It was an absolute classic last year with England triumphing by 33 points to 30 at Twickenham.
Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly and Manu Tuilagi got the tries for England on that day while Owen Farrell had again had a 100% record with the boot.
Justin Tipuric bagged two tries for Wales while Dan Biggar scored their other as the men in red came up short on this occasion.
Of course, the last two meetings between the two sides were played in front of capacity crowds but that will not be a factor this time around, owing to the current coronavirus pandemic.
Could that be a factor in the game or will both sides treat us to an excellent display of rugby?
After the England game, Wales travel to Italy on Saturday, March 13, while England will host France on the same day.
A win for either side this weekend will be crucial; a win for Wales and it sets them up for the Grand Slam while a win for England will reignite their hopes of retaining the Six Nations Championship.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 16:45 and can be seen on S4C as well as the BBC.
Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell, Jonny May, George Ford, Ben Youngs, Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Mark Wilson, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Charlie Ewels, George Martin, Ben Earl, Dan Robson, Max Malins.
Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rhodri Jones, Leon Brown, Cory Hill, James Botham, Gareth Davies, Callum Sheedy, Uilisi Halaholo.
Liam Williams; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Jonathan Davies, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Kieran Hardy; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.
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