In her statement, Kirsty Williams AM set out five guiding principles to determine how and when most schools will return to providing education.

These are:

  • The safety and mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of students and staff.
  • Continuing contribution to the national effort to fight the spread of Covid-19.
  • Having the confidence of parents, staff and students – based on evidence and information – so that they can plan ahead.
  • Ability to prioritise learners at key points, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Consistency with the Welsh Government framework for decision-making, to have guidance in place to support measures such as distancing, managing attendance and wider protective actions.

The Education Secretary’s statement comes after First Minister Mark Drakeford published a framework to lead Wales out of the pandemic.

NEU Cymru welcomes the clear focus on safety, not overwhelming the NHS, ensuring that declines in death rates and rate of infections decreasing, with a safeguard that schools could again be closed if the circumstances dictate.

"For our members, parents and learners themselves, staying safe at this difficult time is critical,” said David Evans, NEU Cymru secretary.

“We look forward to hearing more details from the Welsh Government in the coming weeks. Everyone wants to get back to school. But putting the safety and wellbeing of everyone involved is the top priority."