Welsh secondaries going online-only as Covid rates rise

Physical school closures start on Monday – but primaries and special schools in Wales are encouraged to stay open
10th December 2020, 4:46pm
Claudia Civinini

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Welsh secondaries going online-only as Covid rates rise

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/welsh-secondaries-going-online-only-covid-rates-rise
Coronavirus School Closures: Secondary Schools In Wales Are To Go Online-only

All secondary schools and colleges in Wales are moving to online learning from Monday in an effort to reduce Covid transmission.

Wales' education minister, Kirsty Williams, said this afternoon that the decision has been taken as the chief medical officer advised that the public health situation in the country was deteriorating and recommended to move all secondaries and colleges online.

Ms Williams said: "I want to thank all education staff across Wales for their efforts to make schools and colleges safe and secure environments. Almost half of all Welsh schools have had zero cases since September.


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"However, it is also recognised that education settings being open can contribute to wider social mixing outside the school and college environment.

"I have received expert advice from Wales' chief medical officer (CMO) showing that the public health situation in Wales is deteriorating. The CMO recommends that a move to online learning should be implemented for secondary school pupils as soon as is practicable.

Coronavirus: Secondary schools switch to online learning

"As a consequence, I can therefore confirm that I have taken the decision that a move to online learning should be implemented for secondary school pupils and college students from Monday next week as part of a national effort to reduce the transmission of coronavirus."

Primary and special schools are encouraged to continue to stay open, she added.

Ms Williams said: "We recognise, as we did during the firebreak, that it is more difficult for primary and special school-age children to undertake self-directed learning.

"That is why we are encouraging primary and special schools to continue to stay open."

The Association of School and College Leaders said it backed the move.

Eithne Hughes, director of ASCL Cymru, said: "We support the Welsh government's decision to move to online learning in secondary schools and colleges.

"We recognise that this action is targeted at secondary schools because the risk of transmission is higher among this age group than primary-age children.

"However, we urge the Welsh government and local authorities to keep a close eye on the situation in primary schools and take appropriate action if needed.

"We are concerned that positive cases during the final week of term could lead to large numbers of pupils and staff having to self-isolate over Christmas.

"We think everybody deserves a break that is free from this worry after a terrible year which has taken its toll on all concerned."

 

 

 

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