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Welsh Government’s continuity plan concerns

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A message from NAHT Cymru to members in Wales

On what should have been the first day of the new school term, schools are facing a new challenge: Welsh Government’s plan for continuity of learning.  

Over the last few weeks, we have been involved in discussions around this plan, but it was not until Friday that we eventually had sight of some of the guidance around the proposals. NAHT Cymru was successful in persuading the Welsh Government not to publish its plans in full, given the concerns we had over their content and delivery model.  

We believe that the well-being of staff, pupils and their families is paramount, and we have been clear about this from the outset. Additional pressure at such a difficult time could prove the final straw for some families already struggling to cope with the outbreak.  

Any plans regarding next steps ought to reference the excellence which is already out there on our schools' learning platforms and should have school leaders at their heart directing them, as they are the professionals best placed to do so.  

There will be much to consider as we move into the next phase, not least how these plans fit with the existing plan for volunteer workers within our emergency childcare settings.  

School leaders need to be at the very heart of the decision-making process, drawing on their immense reserves of local, on-the-ground knowledge. We believe that the plans in their present form don't take note of the issues referenced above and cannot deliver the very best opportunities our learners and their families so badly need in these challenging times.  

NAHT Cymru will be talking to the Welsh Government over the next few days to ensure that plans for the continuity of learning are fit for purpose and do not undermine the immense effort currently being undertaken by the profession during these unprecedented and challenging times.
First published 21 April 2020