Coronavirus: Schools in Wales to Open by the End of June – but only for a four week term

It has just been announced that all schools in Wales will be allowed to open by the end of June – for a short four-week term.

ALL schools in Wales will reopen on June 29, the country’s education minister has announced in the last half hour.

Kirsty Williams said the four-week term will end on July 27 and will see staggered starts, lessons and breaks for different year groups, but only a third of pupils at most will be in school at any one time.

All teachers will be prioritised for antibody testing, the education minister has promised.

Ms Williams said the shorter term would give pupils, staff, and parents time to prepare for a “new normal” when the next academic year begins in September.

“June 29 means there will have been one full month of test, trace, and protect, which will continue to expand,” she added.

Explaining why schools will be opening at the end of this month, she said: “The evolving science suggests that warm weather and sunlight gives us the best opportunity to ensure more time in school. Waiting until September would mean almost half a year without schooling.

“That would be to the detriment to the well-being, learning progress, and mental health of our young people.”

Ms Williams also said reopening schools was the best way to help vulnerable and disadvantaged children. She insisted Wales had met the five principles that were needed before a return could be considered, and that the plan was the “best practical option.”

As earlier reported by the EWN, Primary schools in England started opening to more pupils on Monday, although it is estimated less than a third did not turn up.

But a survey by the National Education Union (NEU) suggests more than two in five schools did not open their doors to more children on the first day of the eased lockdown, nervous parents and teachers were thought to be behind the ‘no-shows.’

Some 44 per cent of schools did not open to any of the year groups suggested by the government – including Nursery, Reception, Year One and Year Six.


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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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