PLAID Cymru Shadow Minister for Education Sian Gwenllian has responded to the announcement today regarding school closures across Wales.
Sian Gwenllian AM said:
“The announcement that schools will now close for statutory provision is to be welcomed but we urgently need further clarity and clear guidelines from the Education Minister on the short term role of our schools going forward. Schools will still have a vital role to play in providing care for the children of key public sector workers, such as NHS staff, and vulnerable children reliant on free school meals.
“It’s also time to scrap, postpone or adapt GCSE and A Level exams – with the aim of holding them later on in the autumn or coming to other arrangements, to ease the burden and pressure on schools who are already struggling to stay open due to the Coronavirus pandemic. A whole range of options could be looked at including using predicted grades as a basis for University entrance or adapting GCSE courses.
“Students should also be adequately supported with consideration giving to their mental health well-being in light of the changes to examinations.
“Teachers and key school staff need to know how grateful we are for the crucial work they are doing as they operate on the frontline of the fight against Coronavirus by caring for our children.
“There’s been an unacceptable lack of leadership from Welsh Government when it comes to providing clear guidance to our schools and teachers to date. We welcome the preparedness now to lead and not follow.
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