02/01/2023

Wales News Online

Local & National News for Wales

Schools re-opening row “not fair on students and staff” says Plaid

THE row around re-opening schools in Wales is not fair on pupils nor staff, Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Education Sian Gwenllian has said.

The Welsh government said today that schools and councils will have the final say on whether the summer term is extended for an extra week with discussions believed to be continuing between government officials, unions and councils.

The Education Minister had originally said that the requirement was for schools to open for four weeks to allow all pupils the opportunity to attend. That requirement has now changed to three weeks.

Sian Gwenllian AS said that this created “complete confusion for everyone” and that children and young people had found themselves “trapped in the middle of a row”.

Ms Gwenllian stressed that the needs of pupils should come first, and adding

“The head teachers and the staff of our schools are to be commended for their systematic and careful planning in preparation for the re-opening of the schools from June 29 onwards.

“The Education Minister’s requirement was that schools open for four weeks to give all pupils the opportunity to attend the school. This means creating complex staff schedules and rotas as well as ensuring that all security measures are in place.

“That requirement has now changed. With just over a week to go, it appears that the schools will only be open for three weeks after all.

“This creates complete confusion for everyone – especially for the children and young people who find themselves trapped in the middle of a row.

“Whatever the reason for the change it is quite clear that this is not fair to schools or staff and it is certainly not good nor fair on the pupils – where are their needs in the middle of this row?

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