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Commenting on the announcement by the Education Secretary of plans for the full reopening of schools in Wales from September, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, said:

“The NASUWT wants a full return to schools when it is safe to do so. The Education Minister has today announced plans to open schools in September to 100% of pupils. The NASUWT asked for the scientific evidence to support this decision and received the 'Technical Advisory Group' paper a few minutes before the Ministers’ announcement.
 
“We note with concern the Technical Advisory Group’s advice in respect of transmissibility of the virus in children and that their specific recommendations for secondary age children are not reflected in the Minister’s statement today.

“The NASUWT will want to see these recommendations fully incorporated into the Welsh Government's Operational Guidance on the Autumn Term.”
 
Neil Butler, NASUWT National Official Wales, said:

“The NASUWT welcomes the decision for a phased reopening in September. This will not be a return to normality and it will be important to phase in staff and pupils to new ways of working.
 
“The NASUWT also welcomes the commitment to employ 900 new school staff, of which 600 will be teachers. However, since 2010 Wales has lost 1693 teachers and gained 547 pupils. The NASUWT would want to see these 600 teachers given permanent contracts and be part of a rebuilding process for schools in Wales to bring them back to full staff capacity. Reducing class sizes will not only make schools safer but will help to improve standards.
 
“The NASUWT is committed to working with the Welsh Government, local authorities and schools to make the return to schools in September a success, but calls upon the Welsh Government to remain vigilant against the resurgence of COVID-19 and put, as its first priority, the protection and safety of pupils and the education workforce."

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