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Responding to the announcement from Education Minister Kirsty Williams to close secondary school sites early, NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said:

“The situation in Wales is clearly very serious and there is now acute pressure on the public health system and the NHS.

“The NASUWT has always maintained that schools should remain open but only if it is safe for them to do so. Ministers must do everything possible to strengthen safety measures in response to the increasing risk of virus transmission in the community and the evidence of Covid-19 being transmitted in primary and secondary schools.

“The risk of virus transmission is likely to be exacerbated by the inevitable rise in virus cases as a result of Christmas gatherings, and Ministers need to consider the implications for education provision at the start of next term.

"With transmission rates rising steeply we urge the Minister to take proactive measures to ensure the safety of pupils and staff in all schools”

Neil Butler, NASUWT National Official Wales said:

 “The decision to exclude primary schools is concerning. The NASUWT believes that there are the same strong educational reasons for closing primary school sites next week as there are for secondary school sites. 

“The latest TAG report was effectively calling upon parents to withdraw their children from schools so that families could enjoy a Christmas that was not disrupted by self-isolation.

"This reduction in school numbers would have made teaching and learning extremely difficult. Teachers would not have been able to teach those in front of them as well as those at home at the same time. This will still be an issue next week for primary school teachers.
 
“The Minister's decision however has brought clarity to what was becoming a chaotic situation with Local Authorities and schools going their own way. This was a difficult decision for the Minister and, whilst we wish that it had been made earlier, we are grateful that it has been made.”
 

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