The Welsh Education Minister today (28th April 2020) has set out her five key principles which will determine how education will be phased in at schools in Wales.
As all parents will know all schools in Wales closed on Friday 20th March 2020 and exams cancelled as a way to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
At the moment, there are only a few Schools across Wales that are open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children to attend.
The exact date of when all schools will re-open is not known, however Kirsty Williams the Welsh Education Minister, has previously said that it is possible schools may not reopen until September and today (28th April 2020) she will appearance at the Children, Young People and Education Committee, to explain her plans for a phased approach in allowing more pupils to return to school.
Last week The First Minister published a framework with seven key questions to help lead Wales out of the coronavirus pandemic using a reverse traffic light system and now the Education Minister will set out five guiding principles which will determine when and how schools will return to providing education for most school pupils.
Kirsty Williams has said “Our latest understanding of the rate of transmission of COVID-19 allows us to be hopeful, but still requires us to be cautious.”
She feels that “It is vital that parents, staff and students have confidence in returning to school. We will only enter the next phase when the evidence and advice suggests that it is the right thing to do.”
She has confirmed that she “will communicate any decision to change the operation of schools well in advance of any required action, allowing school staff, pupils and parents to plan ahead.”
Kirsty Williams, has confirmed that all schools “will not immediately return to operating at full capacity” and that instead they will all use a “phased approach”
Not All Children Will Attend School at the Same Time
Kirsty Williams, has also confirmed that this phased approach will also mean that not all kids will be at school at the same time as she explained “I do not expect schools will suddenly open for all pupils, from all years, all week.”
“The ongoing challenge of COVID-19 means we will prepare schools for a range of scenarios for the foreseeable future. However unlikely, we must prepare for an eventuality that requires schools to reduce operations at specific future points.”
There are many heroes continuing to do their jobs during this national lockdown and that includes the teachers and support staff that are still opening some schools and helping with distant learning and Kirsty Williams thanks them all saying “I would like to thank the all those working hard to ensure that schools and hubs are able to provide support for those who need it. As I have said previously, our teachers, support staff and childcare workers have proved themselves to be national heroes.”