Admission to School - Information for Parents 2023-2024
In this section
SECTION C - Services to Pupils
Meeting Additional /Special Educational Needs
The system for supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disability in Wales has changed. The Welsh Government has brought in a new more flexible and responsive system of meeting the needs of children with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities and are striving to deliver a fully inclusive education system for the learners of Wales.
Utilising the new system schools will ensure:
- needs are identified early, addressed quickly and all learners are supported to reach their potential.
- professionals are skilled and confident in identifying needs and deploying strategies to help learners overcome their barriers to learning.
- that learners receive personalized learning and that they and their parents and carers are equal partners in their learning (Person Centred Approach).
From September 2021 the new system will be brought in gradually over three years (2021-2024).
Carmarthenshire County Council Transport Policy
Your children may be able to get free transport to school, depending on how far they live from the school and any additional needs they may have.
School Meals & School Essentials (Pupil Development Grant Access)
Carmarthenshire School Meals service provides a choice of nutritionally balanced and value for money meals for every school in the county. School meals play an important part in teaching children social skills and introducing them to different and varied food options.
Pupils in primary schools are offered a free breakfast and have a choice of a cooked two-course meal every day, and secondary school pupils having cafeterias which provide a choice of meals, snacks, fruit and puddings to pupils, available at lunch and morning break times.
If your child has a special dietary requirement issue, then please draw it to the attention of the school and the catering staff and the service will do its best to accommodate the requirements.
The service also provides facilities for pupils to be provided with drinking water at meal times.
Welsh Government has introduced a PDG Access Grant. This is to provide grant assistance to families on low incomes for the purchase of:
- School uniform including coats and shoes;
- School sports kit including footwear;
- Uniform for enrichment activities, including but not limited to, scouts; guides; cadets; martial arts; sports; performing arts or dance;
- Equipment e.g. school bags and stationery;
- Specialist equipment where new curriculum activities begin such as design and technology; and
- Equipment for out of school hour’s trips such as outdoor learning e.g. waterproofs.
Please note that the above list can be subject to change.
Educational Maintenance Allowance
These allowances are available for students over statutory school leaving age who stay on at school. Full information and how to apply for any of these allowances and grants is available from the school.
School Safeguarding and Attendance Team
The School Safeguarding and Attendance Team (SSAT) works on behalf of the local authority to support regular school attendance and engagement in education. The team also works to ensure safeguarding within school settings and oversees Elective Home Education. Staff promote family engagement to enable families to overcome barriers to regular school attendance and engagement in education. The SSAT has the delegated responsibility for overseeing child performance; child employment; and chaperone licensing across the authority.
The SSAT also acts on behalf of the local authority in enforcing a parents’ duty to provide appropriate education under the Education Act (1996) (2002). The service works in partnership with schools, children services, families and wider partners.
For more information: 01554 742369.
The Authority administers a number of charitable trust funds which can offer assistance towards the expenses of those attending further or higher education courses. In the main, each of these trust funds has been established for the benefit of pupils who have attended a specified school or schools in the County although it should be noted that some can provide financial assistance to support students from anywhere within the County. Further particulars of the availability of assistance from trust funds should be sought from the Headteacher of the school or by visiting our web page.
The Careers Service
Careers Wales aims to help young people make those difficult decisions about their future. It has up-to-date expert knowledge of education, training and employment and usually pupils are seen by Careers Advisers in school from Year 9 of the Secondary School onwards.
Carmarthenshire Family Information Service
The Family Information Service (FIS) provides free, bilingual, impartial information on a wide range of childcare options, activities for children and family support related issues. This includes paying for childcare and working in childcare, information on nurseries, childminders, out of school clubs, playgroups and parent and toddler groups. The Family Information Service is available to parents, carers, employers and professionals throughout Carmarthenshire.
The Childcare Offer
For further information about the Childcare Offer for Wales please contact Carmarthenshire Family Information Service: 01267 246555 or visit their website.
Healthy Schools Scheme
The Healthy Schools Scheme has been running successfully since September 2001 and all primary schools, secondary schools and additional learning establishments in Carmarthenshire are now part of the initiative. The ‘Healthy School’ is one which takes responsibility for maintaining and promoting the health of all who ‘learn, work, play and live’ within it by embedding the seven health topics into all aspects of pupils’ learning experiences.
The Seven Topics are:
- Food and Fitness
- Mental and Emotional Health and Well Being
- Personal Development and Relationships
- Substance use and misuse
The initiative supports Wales’ new Curriculum with regards to healthy children and young people and substantially supports the Personal and Social Education Framework.
Schools must progress through five phases of the scheme within four areas, Leadership and Communication, Curriculum, Ethos and Environment and Family and Community involvement. Upon phase completion, schools are awarded a plaque. The National Quality Award is the highest award achievable in the scheme and there are currently 7 schools working towards the NQA status in Carmarthenshire. The National Quality Award is the highest award achievable within the scheme, with 3 schools having achieved this prestigious award.
For further information on the Healthy Schools Scheme please contact Catrin Rees, Healthy Schools Co-ordinator, CLRees@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or Shân Thomas, Healthy Schools Officer, ShEThomas@carmarthenshire.gov.uk on 01267 246622.
Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education
Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education is embedded within the four core purposes of the Curriculum for Wales. All Carmarthenshire schools are committed to supporting Carmarthenshire County Council to become net zero carbon by 2030.
All learners are supported and encouraged to develop the knowledge, skills and values they need to engage with the world including the belief that we can all make a difference. Through purposeful actions learners are empowered to take responsibility for the natural environment and make connections for positive change. This creates a culture of care and responsibility for our future generations.
Carmarthenshire is a Fairtrade Local Authority and continues to support its schools with the Fairtrade Schools Programme.
Global connections with schools on an international platform continue to be supported through Wales’s newly formed International Exchange Programme ‘Taith’. Carmarthenshire schools continue to build on this well-established model of participation with a clear understanding of the value of these transformative school exchange programmes. Well established and successful partnerships working continues to flourish between Carmarthenshire schools and schools in Lesotho, through the Connecting Classrooms programme and Dolen Cymru.
For more information on any of the above please contact:
Associate Education Support Adviser Louise Morgan HeLMorgan@carmarthenshire.gov.uk