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Changes to guidance on face coverings / Newidiadau i’r canllawiau ar orchuddion wyneb

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A message from NAHT Cymru to members in Wales

The Welsh Government has just published its latest guidance on face coverings in schools. You can read its announcement on this change here.   

As you will see, the guidance places the burden of responsibility on determining whether face coverings are required in schools firmly on the shoulders of school leaders and local authorities. 

It is unacceptable that you should have to make this decision. Head teachers are not medical experts, and it is unfair of the Welsh Government to put you in this position. 

Everyone wants to see pupils back in class, with their teachers and classmates. You and your teams have worked tirelessly over the summer, playing your part in getting schools ready for the start of the autumn term. 

We need the Welsh Government to demonstrate it is in control of this situation. There needs to be absolute clarity about who must wear face coverings and when they need to wear them; this should include clear information in regards to pupils, teachers and parents. 

If individual schools and local authorities are left to make the decision, we will once again see a mixed economy across Wales, with different schools putting different measures in place. This will be unsettling for pupils, parents and staff alike, and it will convey a message of confusion, not confidence in returning to school. 

If face coverings become mandatory in certain schools, then they will have to purchase many thousands of masks. This will undoubtedly come at an additional and unforeseen cost, and it may result in shortages as demand increases. 

The Welsh Government needs to guarantee that enough masks will be available to schools and that the costs of obtaining them are fully met. Otherwise, it runs the real risk of schools not reopening next week. 

Today, I have written to education minister Kirsty Williams to demand she takes ownership of this situation and not pass the responsibility to schools and LAs who are not equipped with the medical expertise to make these decisions. 

As always, please come back to me with your views or any additional questions you may have.

 



Mae Llywodraeth Cymru newydd gyhoeddi eu canllawiau diweddaraf ar orchuddion wyneb mewn ysgolion. Gallwch ddarllen eu cyhoeddiad am y newid hwn yma.   

Fel y gwelwch, mae'r canllawiau'n gosod baich y cyfrifoldeb o benderfynu a oes angen gorchuddion wyneb mewn ysgolion yn gadarn ar ysgwyddau arweinwyr ysgolion ac awdurdodau lleol. 

Mae'n annerbyniol bod gofyn i chi wneud y penderfyniad hwn. Nid yw penaethiaid ysgolion yn arbenigwyr meddygol ac mae'n annheg i Lywodraeth Cymru eich gosod yn y sefyllfa hon. 

Mae pawb eisiau gweld disgyblion yn ôl yn y dosbarth, gyda'u hathrawon a'u cyd-ddisgyblion. Rydych chi a'ch timau wedi gweithio'n ddiflino dros yr haf, yn chwarae eich rhan i gael ysgolion yn barod ar gyfer dechrau tymor yr hydref. 

Mae angen i Lywodraeth Cymru ddangos eu bod nhw'n gallu rheoli'r sefyllfa hon. Mae angen eglurder llwyr ynghylch pwy y mae gofyn iddynt wisgo gorchuddion wyneb, a phryd y mae angen iddynt eu gwisgo; dylai hyn gynnwys gwybodaeth glir ynghylch disgyblion, athrawon a rhieni. 

Os gadewir y penderfyniad i ysgolion unigol ac awdurdodau lleol, byddwn unwaith eto’n gweld sefyllfa gymysg ledled Cymru, gyda gwahanol ysgolion yn arddel gwahanol fesurau. Bydd hyn yn creu awyrgylch o ansefydlogrwydd i ddisgyblion, rhieni a staff fel ei gilydd, a bydd hefyd yn anfon neges o ddryswch yn hytrach na hyder wrth ddychwelyd i'r ysgol. 

Os daw gorchuddion wyneb yn orfodol mewn rhai ysgolion, yna bydd yn rhaid iddynt brynu miloedd lawer o fasgiau. Heb os, bydd cost ychwanegol na ragwelwyd ynghlwm yn hyn, a gall hefyd arwain at brinder wrth i'r galw gynyddu. 

Mae angen i Lywodraeth Cymru sicrhau y bydd digon o fasgiau ar gael i ysgolion, a bod costau cael gafael arnynt yn cael eu talu’n llawn. Fel arall, mae'n rhedeg y risg wirioneddol na fydd ysgolion yn ailagor yr wythnos nesaf.

 Heddiw, rwyf wedi ysgrifennu at y gweinidog addysg, Kirsty Williams, i fynnu ei bod yn cymryd perchnogaeth o'r sefyllfa hon a pheidio â throsglwyddo'r cyfrifoldeb i ysgolion ac ALlau nad oes ganddynt yr arbenigedd meddygol i wneud y penderfyniadau hyn. 

Fel bob amser, dewch yn ôl ataf gyda'ch barn neu unrhyw gwestiynau ychwanegol a all fod gennych.

First published 26 August 2020