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Commenting on the publication of the Welsh Government’s guidance for the full reopening of schools from September, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said:
 
“Despite the publication of operational and learning guidance for the return to school settings in September, we are concerned that - contrary to the promises made by the Education Minister - there is a disconnect between the operational guidance and the scientific advice from the Technical Advisory Group.
 
“Whilst the Technical Advisory Group has suggested a maximum group size of around 10 for secondary age pupils, the Government’s operational guidance is at variance with the scientific advice.
 
“Teachers’ confidence in the Welsh Government’s plans for the full reopening of schools in September will be undermined because it has ignored key recommendations by its own scientific advisors.”
 
A recent survey by the NASUWT found that the majority of teachers did feel safe to return to work when schools in Wales reopened on 29 June.
 
The survey revealed that 65% of teachers felt safe or very safe as a result of the provisions their employer had put in place to mitigate the risks of COVID-19.
 
However, this survey of more than 350 teachers was conducted when a maximum of one third of learners were allowed on school sites at any one time.
 
Neil Butler, NASUWT National Official for Wales, said:
 
"The NASUWT calls upon the Education Minister to make good on her promise made in her five principles that she would ensure: ‘The safety and mental, emotional and physical wellbeing of students and staff’ and that she would be guided by the science.
 
“The science on secondary schools urges caution and the operational guidance does not seriously address this.”
 
The NASUWT’s survey also found:
 
·       24% of teachers said they had not been consulted on their school’s plans for reopening.
·       1 in 10 teachers said that despite the measures put into place, they felt unsafe in their schools.
·       PPE remains an issue of concern for many teachers.
 

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