Laura Doel, director of school leaders union NAHT Cymru, which represents leaders in the majority of schools in Wales, said:
“As school leaders we want nothing more than to see more children back in school and we all appreciate the struggle it has been for some parents and learners when it comes distance learning for the youngest children.
“However, this has to be done in a cautious and phased approach. To do otherwise would risk the situation once again deteriorating and efforts to securing a full return thwarted.
“Therefore we are bitterly disappointed that despite the Welsh Government pledging to work closely with professional associations and trade unions about their proposal, we are once again in the position of having decisions imposed upon the sector whilst there are too many questions left unanswered.
“We have not been provided with the rationale for this decision or definitive scientific evidence to support what we consider to be the rushed and premature wider re-opening of schools.
“Satisfactory operational guidance setting out realistic additional mitigation measures to keep both staff and pupils safe is yet to be produced or published. This information and measures are critical for school leaders to have in order that they can review risk assessments, operational staffing and other practical arrangements.
“Without this, we are of the firm belief that the Welsh Government will not secure the confidence of parents or the education workforce, which places school leaders in an impossible position.
“We had called upon the Welsh Government to pause any announcement because of our concerns, however this call was effectively ignored. Despite this, we are continuing to press Welsh Government officials to meet with us and take the necessary steps to ensure that any wider reopening of schools is carried out in a reasonable and rationale way considering all factors.”
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