The Speaker
Sunday, 21 July 2024 – 08:06

Education Minister sets out ‘current thinking’ for return of schools in Wales

The Welsh Government has published a document setting out how it is considering the next phase for schools as it responds to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Most schools in Wales have been closed since the start of the pandemic, though some have been open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children.

The document, which is called the ‘Decision framework for the next phase of education and childcare’, builds on five principles published by Education Minister Kirsty Williams last month for the return of schools.

The Minister has described the working document as “setting out our current thinking” for how schools, other education settings and childcare providers’ operations will change to allow social distancing and other factors. Kirsty Williams said;

“As the Education Minister for Wales, I will make the decisions on how and when more pupils in Wales will return to school. Today I am sharing further information on how those decisions will be reached.

“Nothing would make me happier than seeing our classrooms full again. But I want to be clear that this framework does not – and I will not – set an arbitrary date for when more pupils will return to school. Setting a date before we have more evidence, more confidence and more control over the virus would be the wrong thing to do.

“This will not be one decision but a series of decisions over time increasing, or if need be, decreasing operation. These changes will be complex, with many different considerations. I want the working document to be a stimulus for wider discussion and feedback.

“I am sharing this today to be as transparent as possible. I want everyone to know the extent of the issues related to the next phase. 

“When we are ready to move into that next phase, I will ensure that there is enough time for preparation and for staff to carry out any necessary training.”

The document can be found here. 

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