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Commenting on the announcement from the Welsh Government that schools will be permitted flexibility on the physical return of pupils in January, Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:
 
“Yet again ministers are announcing significant changes affecting schools with little or no time to prepare before the Christmas closure period.
 
“This decision demonstrates that Covid-19 transmission in schools is a major factor in continuing the spread of the virus.
 
“Giving greater flexibility on the timing of pupils’ physical return to school will be of some assistance, but much more action is needed to keep pupils, staff and their families safe.
 
“Regardless of the date on which pupils physically return to their school, it remains vitally important that all schools and colleges are supported to focus on maintaining and enforcing all of the safety measures which they should have in place and which are designed to mitigate transmission of the virus amongst pupils and staff.”
 
Neil Butler, NASUWT National Official Wales said:
 
“We know that the NHS is going to be facing significant challenges in the New Year, so the Welsh Government’s expectation that most learners will be returning on 4 January is disappointing.

“The NASUWT wanted greater leadership from the Welsh Government calling on local authorities to ensure a phased return. This is certainly what the Welsh Government was indicating to the NASUWT would take place, but they seem to have lost their nerve at the last moment.”

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