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Commenting on the plans set out by the Education Minister Kirsty Williams for the wider reopening of schools in Wales, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teacher’s Union, said:

“It is troubling that the Education Minister for Wales, unlike Ministers elsewhere in the UK, is using emergency powers in order to press ahead with plans for the wider reopening of schools.

“The Welsh Government’s measures to relax the lockdown will need to garner the trust and confidence of teachers, parents and the general public if they are to succeed and keep people safe.

“The Education Minister needs to provide the scientific evidence on which the Welsh Government is relying to support its plans for the wider reopening of schools.

“Parents and teachers will understandably have many questions about today’s announcement, and it is now up to the Welsh Government to demonstrate that it will be safe for schools to reopen to more children.

“Teachers and parents need to be convinced that the plans by the Welsh Government will not put at risk the health of staff, children or the general public.”

Neil Butler, NASUWT National Official for Wales, said:

“Allowing all pupils the opportunity for contact time at their schools is the most dangerous option in terms of virus transmission.

“The Welsh Government is well aware of the extreme difficulty of social distancing in schools, especially for younger children. The Minister has also admitted that this is for a ‘check in’ and ‘catch up’ so there is clearly no educational purpose behind this decision. These are not good enough reasons for risking lives.

“We are still holding the Minister to the 5 key principles she made and we will expect that schools will not open on 29 June if there is any threat to the physical wellbeing of learners and staff.”

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