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Parents Can Join Live Q and A with Welsh Education Minister

Later today (Wednesday 20th May 2020) Education Minister, Kirsty Williams will be hosting a Live Q and A session for all Parents and Carers to ask her any question about their child’s education during the coronavirus outbreak in Wales?

Welsh Government Education Minister Kirsty Williams still will not be drawn into announcing an exact date that our children will be expected to return to school, as we come out of the National Coronavirus Lockdown.

On Friday 15th May 2020 Kirsty Williams published The decision framework for the next phase of education and childcare, which outlines two of the pressing questions such as which groups of children/learners should physically attend school when they open and how do we ensure staff and children/learners are kept safe and well?

In the decision framework for the next phase of education and childcare that was published it confirms that:

 

The Priority Groups of children/learners that should physically attend to school

The wide range of which children/learners that could be prioritised to return to school when operations increased primarily in respect of schools, possible options could include, but are not limited to:

  • Disadvantaged children/learners – schools would be open full time to the most disadvantaged children/learners. This would need to be defined, but could be capped at a specific percentage or defined in another way
  • Transition year groups – schools would be open to focus on specific year groups who are about to make a key transition in learning. This would include Years 6, 10 and 12, but could also include Nursery into Reception, Years 2 or 9
  • Learners at the end of a cycle – focusing on Years 11 and 13. This could be expanded to other year groups
  • All children/learners at a reduced time – schools and providers would be open for all children/learners who would attend for a limited time, depending on maximum safe capacity: for example, one day a week. Staff would similarly rotate
  • Earlier years – earlier year groups would attend first Children of parent/carers who need to leave home to work – focusing on children whose parents/carers are able to return to work through the easing of lockdown and parents/carers who need to work but have childcare commitments, in particular, single parents/carers
  • Increase current provision – working with local authorities, schools and hubs, we would encourage more of those who are entitled to attend to do so.

 

How staff and children/learners will be kept safe and well

It is thought that mitigating measures should be considered to be put in place to ensure:

  • Schools and providers have the capacity in terms of staffing and physical space to embed social distancing for any staff and children/learners present. This includes how other civil amenities can be used to create more space.
  • The mental, emotional, and physical well-being needs of staff and children/learners are supported
  • The take-up and impact of any proposals are monitored and evaluated. This is critical to ensure that any decision can be reversed if necessary.
  • These measures will be fundamental in keeping staff and children/learners safe and securing the confidence of children/learners, staff, and parents/carers.

 

In today’s press conference (Wednesday 20th May 2020) Education Minister, Kirsty Williams confirmed that there is no way she or anyone could 100% guarantee that all risks can be eliminated for staff and children when returning to school.

She also added that we should expect a future of blended learning when the new academic year starts in September 2020, which will mean pupils will still be learning via online digital learning as well as sometimes attending school to learn in small groups.

So on the day that sees many universities announce that their academic year 2020 – 2021 will be 100% delivered online to students, it’s clear from our Welsh Education Ministers comments that whenever our primary and secondary aged children do return to school it wont be back to normal for most of at least the next academic year.

 

Ask Your Question Direct to Our Welsh Education Minister

In a rare opportunity later today (Wednesday 20th May 2020) Parents and Carers will be able to ask their question about their child’s education during the coronavirus outbreak in Wales direct to Kirsty Williams our Welsh Education Minister.

Between 5pm and 6pm on a Facebook Live and on Twitter you will be able to put forward a question in this Live Q and A session.

So if you have any questions that are bugging you, such as PPE for staff and kids, potential of fines for parents who wish not to send their kids back or if you are worried about the number of screen time hours your child is being expected to do with their online learning then get on line and ask your question.

To ask your question you can see the Facebook Live Coronavirus Q and A here and you ask your question by using the hashtag #AskKirsty

Similarly, if you go onto Twitter this Live Twitter hour Q and A will be taking place and all you need to do is ask you question using the hashtag #AskKirsty

 

 

If you Missed this evening Live Q and A with Welsh Education Minister, Kirsty Williams then you can read our Roundup of Answers Given by Welsh Education Minister, Kirsty Williams Here

 

 

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