Speaking about the announcement from the Education Minister on moving schools and colleges to online learning, Mary van den Heuvel, Senior Policy Officer for the National Education Union Cymru, said:

“NEU Cymru is really pleased that the Welsh Government has listened to the science, and us as a union, in terms of asking them to close schools for face-to-face learning. We believe this will give some space for scientists to understand the impact of the new variant of the virus.  We are mindful however, that both Scotland and England have committed to closing schools for a longer period and trust Welsh Government will keep their plans under review to keep everyone safe.

"We believe now is the time to be looking at measures such as vaccinating the education workforce. As educators, our members want to be in the classroom, working with children and young people to help them in their learning. But sadly we are not in that situation. We will work with Welsh Government in the coming weeks to try and help ensure that everyone in education is as safe as possible and that everyone can support children and young people in online learning.”

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 – Wales Policy Officer - National Education Union, Tŷ Sinnott, 18 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff CF24 5PJ.  Mob: 07436 549606.

e-mail: mary.vandenheuvel@neu.org.uk