I have today confirmed that all pupils will be able to return to school in September.
The Welsh Technical Advisory Group, which provides scientific and technical advice to Government during emergencies, recommends that schools “plan to open in September with 100% of pupils physically present on school sites, subject to a continuing, steady decline in the presence of COVID-19 in the community.”
Autumn term will start on 1st September and schools that can accommodate all pupils from the start of the term should do so.
There will be a period of flexibility in recognition that schools may want to focus on priority year groups, such as those new to secondary schools, those sitting exams next summer or those in reception classes. This will also allow time, up to a fortnight, for any planning and reorganisation.
I will be publishing updated operational and learning guidance for September published next week. Government education officials are supported in this work by local authorities, head-teachers, public health officials, teaching unions and education practitioners.
I have also outlined plans to make £29m available to ‘recruit, recover and raise standards’ in Welsh schools in response to the impact still felt from the pandemic.
My officials are also working with FEcolleges to support a return in September. Further details will be announced in due course.