David Evans, Wales secretary for the National Education Union Cymru said: 

"NEU has written to the Prime Minister asking that he close all schools and colleges, and we are hoping that the this will be the same for Wales. Estyn have taken the pragmatic approach and what we need to do now is make sure that all those in vulnerable groups can be protected. Our educators need to be able to be kept safe where they have the range of conditions listed by the Prime Minister last evening. 

"We need clear guidance for schools and colleges, and we believe our members who fall into the categories listed - or supporting those who do - should be avoiding going into work from next Monday at the latest. This will make the logistics difficult, so we are suggesting schools and colleges close from next Monday.” 

"We have suggested that teachers and school leaders could offer their help at this critical time - we know that for our members without conditions, there will be those keen to volunteer to play their part for the communities they live and work in. 

"Support must be given to supply teachers - and we welcome this critical issue was raised in the Senedd today. Like all workers who do not necessarily get sick or holiday pay, this is a difficult time.

"Young people will also need access to support - such as that offered by free school meals.

"Professional discretion is clearly needed, and our leadership members will be under pressure to show leadership. We are asking our members to think what work they can sensibly undertake.  Wales has a long history of pulling together and we know all our staff in schools and colleges will be trying their best at this critical time."

ENDS

Press contacts:

The National Education Union is an amalgamation of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and National Union of Teachers (NUT), formed on 1 September 2017. Please see the below contact details for assistance:

Contact: Mary van den Heuvel,

National Education Union, Tŷ Sinnott,

18 Neptune Court,

Vanguard Way,

Cardiff CF24 5PJ. 

Tel: 029 20491818. Mob: 07436 549 606