The Welsh Government has published updated operational guidance and learning guidance.
As of 12 April 2021 all students are able to return to both primary and secondary schools in Wales.
Universities in Wales are able to welcome all students back to campus from 12 April, and it is the Welsh Government's expectation that all students can return for in person blended learning for the duration of the summer term.
Nurseries and childcare
All childcare facilities are able to remain open providing they are operating in a safe and secure way.
The Welsh Technical Advisory Group, which provides scientific and technical advice to Government during emergencies, recommends that schools “plan to open in September with 100% of pupils physically present on school sites, subject to a continuing, steady decline in the presence of COVID-19 in the community”.
The Welsh Government will provide an additional £29 million to schools to boost support for learners at crucial stages in their education from September.
- The equivalent of 600 extra teachers and 300 teaching assistants will be recruited throughout the next school year, targeting extra support at Years 11, 12 and 13, as well as disadvantaged and vulnerable learners of all ages. This will support learners taking their A level and GCSEs in 2021 and those known to have been affected most. This targeted action is hugely important to the futures of these young people.
- Professional learning resources will be provided to support the new and existing teachers, in preparation for September. Staff will be recruited on a one-year fixed term contract and are expected to move into educational roles in the following school year. The support package, provided at a school level, could include extra coaching support, personalised learning programmes and additional time and resources for exam year pupils.
Increased measures to prevent virus transmission
Persons displaying COVID-19 symptoms should be sent home, and advised to arrange a test and ensure self-isolation guidance is adhered to. In this case, contact tracing processes will also commence.
It is not appropriate for schools to share information on potential COVID-19 cases in the school to wider staff, pupils or parents. Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) this is highly sensitive personal health information that should not be shared.
Although it is not possible to ensure a totally risk-free environment, the Welsh Government’s updated operational guidance includes comprehensive information on the protective measures schools should take to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus.
Social distancing in schools
Socially distancing must occur where possible by minimising contact between individuals where possible. However, with younger children this is at times not possible and can be difficult, therefore there will be an emphasis on forming groups of learners and ensuring separation of those groups.
If the child has tested positive for COVID-19 and the parent lives with the child, they will need to self-isolate as a close contact and they would be legally prohibited from going to work. They would be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay provided they are an employee and earn above £120 per week on average.
If a child has to self-isolate because they have been in recent close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (for example, in their school bubble) then the parent must ensure that the child self-isolates, but there is no obligation for the parent to also have to self-isolate.
Last updated 14/04/21