PLAID CYMRU’S plan to re-open schools in mid-August has been echoed by Wales chief medical officer.
During the Welsh Government Press Conference earlier today, Chief Medical Officer Dr Frank Atherton said re-opening schools on 29 June for a short period was a “second-best option” and would have preferred to open schools in late August “to give us a little bit more time”.
The Welsh Government confirmed that all pupils would be able to return at the end of June.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Education Sian Gwenllian MS said she maintained that the best option in “balancing health risks” and “mitigating harm to pupils” would be to bring forward the summer holidays allowing the autumn term to start mid-August.
Ms Gwenllian said this would have potentially “lessened the health risks for pupils and teachers” due to the R number being expected to be lower by mid-August and would have given “better continuity and stability for pupils” instead of “three weeks of anxiety and instability”.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Education Sian Gwenllian MS said,
“Plaid Cymru agree with the Chief Medical Officer and maintain the best option in balancing the health risks with mitigating the harm to many pupils of being out of education for so long would be to bring forward the summer holidays allowing the autumn term to start mid-August.
“There could then be a two to three week half term in the autumn to break up the long stretch from mid-August to Christmas.
“This would have potentially lessened the health risks for pupils and teachers because we would expect the R number to be lower by mid-August. It would also have given better continuity and stability for pupils instead of three weeks of anxiety and instability before a break then starting up all over again.