Council considers partial return to online learning due to soaring cost of heating classrooms
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
School children could be taught online from home for a day a week due to the cost-of-living crisis.
Councillors in Powys have discussed introducing remote leaning because of the soaring cost of heating classrooms over the winter.
As during the Covid lockdowns, some school hubs would remain open to look after some pupils who would not be able to study from home.
Responding to a question about the possibility of online lessons being reintroduced, Cllr Pete Roberts, the cabinet member for education, confirmed the move was being considered along with a range of other measures to cut costs.
“There are significant budget pressures on all of us and we are needing to be considering every option regarding potential savings,” he said.
“We did suggest the possibility of four-day week; with a fifth day being taught virtually as well as blended weeks of learning as extreme cases for consideration.”
Stressing that there is no “clear directive” given to schools to do this, he added that a “financial toolkit” is being prepared and shared with schools to help headteachers and school governors discuss how to tackle the financial crisis.
“Ultimately it is the decision and responsibility of the headteacher and their chair of governors regarding the school budget and one size does not fit all,” he said.
Mr Roberts added that schools would need to produce plans explaining how they will continue with children’s education and that they will need to think about: “any and every eventuality” and concluded that the option of online learning could, “reduce the utilities cost for the schools and lead to a considerable saving.”
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