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Responding to the statement by Education Minister Kirsty Williams, NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said:

“We welcome the new emphasis on social distancing for older learners and we would expect schools to now ensure that there is strict social distancing not just for the staff but for the learners as well.

“However, the flexibility given for onsite 'check-ins' for years 7,8 and 9 is concerning. Schools are already catering for the children of key workers and vulnerable learners whilst continuing to educate other pupils who are at home.

“Teachers are having to juggle face to face teaching with distance learning. This change is unnecessary and may cause enormous difficulties in schools.

“It will bring added pressure they can do without as they struggle to maintain a safe working environment.”

NASUWT National Official Wales Neil Butler said:

“The Guidance is a reminder that schools must ensure that they are covid-secure and should therefore avoid undertaking non-essential activities which could compromise covid security or the health of pupils and school staff.

“The NASUWT appreciates the cautious approach taken in Wales to the virus. Wales cannot afford a resurgence of the virus and more school closures. Schools also need to concentrate on blended learning and awarding grades to examination students. There must be no distractions.”
 

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