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NAHT Cymru update – school closures, hub guidance and additional funding for school counselling   /  Y diweddaraf gan NAHT Cymru - cau ysgolion, arweiniad ar gyfer hybiau a chyllido ychwanegol ar gyfer cwnsela mewn ysgolion

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We write to update you on the latest news from NAHT Cymru in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak.

School closures

Yesterday, education minister Kirsty Williams AM announced that schools would not reopen until there is scientific and medical evidence to confirm it is safe to do so. This announcement has been welcomed by NAHT after growing speculation that schools in England could open as early as next month. The minister also stated that she does not anticipate children returning to schools before September 2020.

Hub guidance

We have been working with the Welsh government on the development of hub guidance for the past two weeks. 

NAHT’s position on hubs remains clear and details are available here  

If a hub setting is the only provision available, we believe as many hubs should be open as possible supporting as few children as possible to lower the risk of overcrowding and spreading the virus.

We have shared our concerns that producing guidance on a hub model to local authorities (LAs) may be seen as indicating it is the preferred option by the Welsh government, however, the Welsh government has listened to those repeated concerns and will not endorse the hub model. The Welsh government maintains the guidance will be available to advise LAs on good practice during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The guidance should be made available to LAs and the wider public by the end of the week. Once published, we will continue to lobby the government on any elements that still cause concerns for our members.

Continuity of learning plan

Since the announcement that schools were to close for statutory education, education officials have been working on a continuity of learning plan. 

It has been the Welsh government’s policy to seek to minimise the impact of closures on learning, progress and the well-being of our learners, and on the well-being of our education workforce. 

The government will commit to doing this by facilitating access to devices, connectivity, and learning opportunities, by supporting head teachers and teachers to deliver effective learning and support to our children and young people, and by giving learners and their families guidance and support around continuing learning at home.

The government will also seek to ensure as far as possible that no learner is disadvantaged because of access to technology, where they live, their age, their special educational needs, the language of their school or whether they are well off or not.

The education trade unions have formed part of the stakeholder engagement process on providing feedback on the plan. 

It is important to note that the unions have only seen the initial policy document draft which sets out the key objectives of the plan. NAHT has highlighted a number of concerns:

• The timing of the plan – many schools are still dealing with the operational challenges of the crisis and we have concerns that rolling out an ambitious and detailed plan at this time is too much too soon for school leaders.

• The well-being of staff – again when there is still much debate on how best to support childcare provision for the children of key workers throughout Wales, NAHT has urged officials to consider the impact additional workload pressures may do to the profession at this time.

• Practical implications – NAHT has not seen the guidance that will accompany the plan for teachers and head teachers, therefore, we have not had the opportunity to consult with members on whether the plan is deliverable on the ground.

To that end, the Welsh government intends to publish a public-facing version of the plan on Monday with guidance for teachers, head teachers and parents. Due to the unprecedented time constraints involved, the Welsh government will continue to work with the trade unions beyond the publication of the plan and guidance to allow us to feedback the concerns of our members and fine-tune the guidance if needed.

The Welsh government has also stated the consortia and Estyn will be available to support LAs and schools with delivering the plan and getting to grips with some of the challenges they will encounter including how to support those who are digitally excluded.

Additional funding for school counselling service

£1.25m of additional funding is to be made available by the Welsh government to support the anticipated rise in demand for support from the school counselling service.

We will continue to update you on the situation and encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have

New education legislation

The Minister also confirmed yesterday that the new Curriculum and Assessment Bill will be put before the Senedd ahead of the summer recess. The intention is for the process to continue and allow the relevant scrutiny process to begin.  No additional details as to the roll-out of the new curriculum have been released as yet

Yours sincerely

Laura Doel
Director – NAHT Cymru

Paul Whiteman
General secretary - NAHT

Ysgrifennaf i'ch darparu â’r newyddion diweddaraf gan NAHT Cymru ynghylch y sefyllfa Covid-19.

Cau ysgolion

Ddoe, cyhoeddodd y gweinidog addysg Kirsty Williams AC na fyddai ysgolion yn ailagor nes bod tystiolaeth wyddonol a meddygol i gadarnhau ei bod yn ddiogel gwneud hynny. Mae’r cyhoeddiad hwn wedi cael ei groesawu gan NAHT ar ôl dyfalu cynyddol y gallai ysgolion yn Lloegr agor mor gynnar â’r mis nesaf. Dywedodd y gweinidog hefyd nad yw’n rhagweld y bydd plant yn dychwelyd i’w hysgolion cyn Medi 2020.

Arweiniad ar gyfer hybiau

Rydym wedi bod yn gweithio gyda Llywodraeth Cymru ar ddatblygu canllawiau ar gyfer hybiau dros y pythefnos diwethaf. 

Mae safbwynt NAHT ar hybiau yn parhau i fod yn glir, ac mae manylion ar gael yma.

Os mai trefniant hyb yw'r unig ddarpariaeth sydd ar gael, credwn y dylai cymaint o hybiau â phosibl fod yn agored, a’r rheiny’n cynnig lleoedd i gyn lleied o blant â phosibl, er mwyn lleihau'r risg o ormod o bobl mewn un lleoliad a lledaenu'r feirws.

Rydym wedi rhannu ein pryderon y gallai cynhyrchu canllawiau ar gyfer model hyb i awdurdodau lleol (ALlau) gael ei ystyried fel arwydd mai hwn yw'r opsiwn a ffefrir gan Lywodraeth Cymru; serch hynny, mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi gwrando ar y pryderon mynych hynny ac ni fyddant yn cymeradwyo'r model hyb. Safbwynt Llywodraeth Cymru yw y bydd y canllawiau ar gael i gynghori ALlau o ran arfer da yn ystod pandemig Covid-19. 

Dylai'r canllawiau fod ar gael i ALlau a'r cyhoedd yn ehangach erbyn diwedd yr wythnos. Unwaith y cânt eu cyhoeddi, byddwn yn parhau i lobïo'r llywodraeth ar unrhyw elfennau sy'n dal i beri pryderon i'n haelodau.

Cynllun Parhad Dysgu

Ers y cyhoeddiad y byddai ysgolion yn cau am addysg statudol, mae swyddogion addysg wedi bod yn gweithio ar gynllun ar gyfer parhad dysgu.

Yn ystod y cyfnod hwn, mae wedi bod yn bolisi gan Lywodraeth Cymru i geisio lleihau effaith cau ysgolion ar ddysgu, cynnydd a llesiant ein dysgwyr, yn ogystal â llesiant ein gweithlu addysgu.

Bydd y llywodraeth yn ymrwymo i wneud hyn drwy hwyluso mynediad at ddyfeisiau, cysylltedd a chyfleoedd dysgu, drwy gynnig cymorth i’n penaethiaid a'n hathrawon i ddarparu dysgu a chefnogaeth effeithiol i'n plant a'n pobl ifanc, a thrwy roi arweiniad a chymorth i ddysgwyr a'u teuluoedd ar gyfer parhau i ddysgu gartref. 

Bydd y llywodraeth hefyd yn ceisio sicrhau, cyn belled ag y bo modd, nad oes unrhyw ddysgwr yn cael ei anfanteisio oherwydd diffyg mynediad at dechnoleg, lle maen nhw'n byw, eu hoedran, eu hanghenion addysgol arbennig, iaith eu hysgol neu a ydyn nhw’n gefnog ai peidio.

Mae'r undebau llafur addysg wedi ffurfio rhan o'r broses ymgysylltu â rhanddeiliaid ar gyfer darparu adborth ar y cynllun. 

Mae'n bwysig nodi mai dim ond drafft o’r ddogfen bolisi gychwynnol y mae'r undebau wedi'i weld, sy'n nodi'r amcanion allweddol y cynllun. Mae NAHT wedi tynnu sylw at nifer o bryderon:

  • Amseriad y cynllun - mae llawer o ysgolion yn dal i ddelio â heriau gweithredol yr argyfwng, ac mae gennym bryderon bod cyflwyno cynllun uchelgeisiol a manwl ar hyn o bryd yn gofyn gormod o arweinwyr ysgolion, a hynny’n rhy fuan.
  • Llesiant staff - unwaith eto o ystyried bod llawer o ddadlau ynghylch beth yw’r ffordd orau o gynnig darpariaeth gofal i blant gweithwyr allweddol ledled Cymru, mae NAHT wedi annog swyddogion i ystyried yr effaith y gallai llwyth gwaith ychwanegol ei chael ar y proffesiwn ar hyn o bryd.
  • Goblygiadau ymarferol - nid yw NAHT wedi gweld y canllawiau sy’n dod gyda’r cynllun ar gyfer athrawon a phenaethiaid, felly, nid ydym wedi cael cyfle i ymgynghori ag aelodau ynghylch a oes modd cyflawni'r cynllun ar lawr gwlad.

I'r perwyl hwnnw, mae Llywodraeth Cymru’n bwriadu cyhoeddi fersiwn gyhoeddus o'r cynllun ddydd Llun, gydag arweiniad i athrawon, penaethiaid a rhieni. Oherwydd y cyfyngiadau amser na welwyd erioed mo’u tebyg, bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn parhau i weithio gyda'r undebau llafur y tu hwnt i gyhoeddi'r cynllun a'r canllawiau, er mwyn ein galluogi i amlygu pryderon ein haelodau a mireinio'r canllawiau os oes angen.

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru hefyd wedi datgan y bydd y consortia ac Estyn ar gael i gynorthwyo ALlau ac ysgolion wrth gyflawni'r cynllun a mynd i'r afael â rhai o'r heriau y byddant yn eu hwynebu, gan gynnwys sut i gynnig cymorth i'r rhai sydd wedi'u hallgau’n ddigidol.

Cyllido ychwanegol ar gyfer gwasanaeth cwnsela mewn ysgolion

Bydd £1.25m ychwanegol ar gael gan Lywodraeth Cymru i gyllido’r cynnydd a ddisgwylir yn y galw am gymorth gan y gwasanaeth cwnsela mewn ysgolion.

Byddwn yn parhau i'ch darparu â’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf ar y sefyllfa, ac rydym yn eich annog i gysylltu â ni gydag unrhyw gwestiynau neu bryderon a allai fod gennych.

Deddfwriaeth addysg newydd

Cadarnhaodd y Gweinidog ddoe hefyd y bydd y Mesur Cwricwlwm ac Asesu newydd yn cael ei roi gerbron y Senedd cyn gwyliau’r haf.  Y bwriad yw i'r broses barhau a chaniatáu i'r broses graffu berthnasol ddechrau.  Nid oes unrhyw fanylion ychwanegol ynghylch cyflwyno'r cwricwlwm newydd wedi'u rhyddhau hyd yma.

Yn gywir

Laura Doel
Cyfarwyddwr - NAHT Cymru

Paul Whiteman
Ysgrifennydd cyffredinol NAHT


First published 16 April 2020