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NEWS: School closures in Wales

We apologise for the lack of translation on this news story, this will follow once produced.

The First Minister, Mark Darakeford, has announced today that following the decision taken earlier in the week to move to online learning in all schools and colleges in Wales, this approach will continue and be brought in line with the three week review cycle. The Welsh Government's written statement explains how they will consider the approach to schools at the same time as the next review, which is due to take place by 29 January. Unless there is a significant reduction in cases of coronavirus before that review schools in Wales will continue to provide online provision until the February half term. Vulnerable children and those of key workers will still be able to undertake face to face learning.

The current position in Wales is that childcare settings are able to continue to operate for all ages of children even during the current lockdown and school closure period. Currently school age children (including those who would normally be at school) can be cared for by childcare providers.

Welsh Government state that schools have not suddenly become unsafe; they do not pose an increased risk to teachers or students. However, keeping schools open does encourage children and adults to mix – inside and outside the school gates – at a time when cases of coronavirus are high in the community and there is a very infectious strain spreading quickly.

We know that many providers are concerned about risks they may be taking and we would suggest you consider the risks and look to minimise these as far as possible through regular risk assessments, adherence to the Protective Measures where possible and discussions with families and children. We are working closely with Cwlwm partners, Public Health Wales and the Welsh Government to feedback this week on infection prevention and control issues specifically. We also regularly update our Wales FAQ’s in relation to COVID-19.