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Plans announced to allow more pupils in Wales to return to school before Easter

Plans announced to allow more pupils in Wales to return to school before Easter

Education Minister Kirsty Williams has announced plans for more pupils in Wales to have the opportunity to return to the classroom before the Easter break.

Ms Williams has said that schools will be given the opportunity to invite pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 back to the classroom to 'check in' with teachers ahead of the Easter holidays. This will not represent a full return to the classroom but is instead designed to give pupils the chance to see teachers, focus on support for wellbeing and get ready for a full return to school after the Easter break.

The plans are provisional and are subject to change. The Welsh Government is next due to complete its regular three-week review of Coronavirus regulations on Friday 12 March.

Announcing the plans, the Education Minister said;

 

"Today, I am able to confirm our intentions to go even further, even earlier, and give schools the opportunity to welcome back learners in years 7, 8 and 9 before the Easter break.

"This would be to give learners the opportunity to check-in with teachers, with a focus on support for wellbeing, and readiness for a full return to school after Easter."

The announcement comes just over a week after the return of the youngest primary pupils to the classroom on 22 February.

The planned return of younger secondary school pupils would be in addition to all primary school pupils, who are currently due to return from 15 March, along with pupils in years 10, 12 and those in exam years.

Full guidance on the return to school is set to be published by the Welsh Government and communicated to headteachers through virtual sessions.

The return of pupils to school in Wales comes as the country currently has the lowest Coronavirus rates of any UK nation and with vaccines against the virus being rolled out at a pace. The return to the classroom is though slower than in England, where all pupils are set to return from 8 March.

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