Wrong call to send children to school before test and trace up and running
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Education Minister Siân Gwenllian has criticised the Welsh Government’s decision to re-open schools for all pupils from 29 June calling the move “too early”.
Citing the early days of a testing and tracing system and the limited evidence on how the virus is transmitted, particularly between children and adults, the Shadow Education Minister called the move was “rash” and said many parents and pupils would not be confident to return at the end of June.
Ms Gwenllian said that schools should instead remain closed for June and July and only open in mid-August if it was “safe to do so”.
Ms Gwenllian called again for more focus on getting remote working right so that schools are able to continue to provide education whatever happens in future months.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Education Siân Gwenllian MS said:
“This is the wrong call from the Education Minister. Sending children back to school at the end of June is too early.
“The Welsh Government’s testing and tracing program has only just begun and we have limited evidence on how the virus transmits in our communities. Many parents and children will not be confident it is safe to return to schools. This is a rash decision.
“Plaid Cymru believes that instead schools should remain closed throughout June and July with a phased re-opening only if it safe to do so in mid-August.
“Refining and ramping up remote learning remains crucial to the plans for the phased re-opening of schools and ensuring that schools remain engaged with every pupil, so that no child is left behind. If we get distance learning right, then this allows us to continue educating our children in the safety of their home, even if we face another lockdown in winter.”
“Furthermore, a longer summer holiday could be detrimental to pupils and consideration should be given to rolling out online activities to ensure children remain occupied.