Schools in Wales to stay shut beyond start of June whatever happens in England

Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams

The Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams has said that schools in Wales will remain shut beyond the start of June, whatever is decided by the UK Government for England.

In a message released on Twitter she said that the situation for schools in Wales will not change on June 1st.

The UK Government have said that the lockdown will begin to ease in England on Monday and there have been briefings that schools could reopen on the 1st of June.

“As you’ll know, there is a lot of speculation about what may or may not be announced regarding schools in England this weekend,” Kirsty Williams said.

“As I have said before, you will always hear directly from me on the decisions we make in Wales for our pupils, parents and school staff.

“The situation for schools in Wales will not change on 1 June. You have my guarantee that we will give everyone time to plan ahead of a next phase starting.”

 

‘Safe’

Kirsty Williams said that any decision to increase the operation of schools will be communicated well in advance. She is working closely with local authorities to ensure that schools are supported in this preparation work, she said.

“In the meantime, critical workers and those who need to use schools or hubs for your children should continue do so,” she said.

“We will continue to be guided by the very latest scientific advice and will only look to have more pupils and staff in schools when it is safe to do so. We will, of course, need to ensure that social distancing requirements can be adhered to.”

The Minister has also written to all of the main teaching unions in the UK and Ireland, in response to their concerns that schools will be open to most pupils before it is safe to do so.

Next week, the Minister will publish a working document which sets out more of the thinking, planning and modelling for the next steps for education in Wales, including childcare and further education, she said.

The document will include how key decisions will be reached and who will providing advice on those decisions.

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Donna Ryalls
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Donna Ryalls

All well and good but those people who have. go back to work or loose their job.. where both parent work can only do so if children are in school .. any free childcare on offer or have vulnerable grandparents expected to take their chances? Whilst helping?

E Williams
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E Williams

But its also the decision you’d take if you have no plan.

I wonder if the urgency for a credible plan for a return would be so relaxed if civil servants, local authority and education staff not contributing were on the 80% furlough that those in the private sector are dealing with.

James
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James

People seem to forget that schools are not there for free childcare. Their purpose is to educate children in an environment that is safe. As soon as it’s safe schools will be back educating our children.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

Discordance with England over re-opening schools is a pretty straightforward matter which should cause few complications. But a radically different policy from England’s in other aspects of ‘lock-down’ might well create real difficulties here. If, for instance, Westminster loosens the rules on ‘stay home’, you can bet that whatever the Welsh government decides, loads of English folk will head to Wales’s tourist hot-spots for days out, or to spend a few days in their second homes or caravans. They’ll do it in innocence, because as far as they’re concerned Bunter’s told everyone that doing so is quite OK. And moreover,… Read more »