Laura Doel, Director NAHT Cymru said: “NAHT has always supported a return to education when it is safe. We maintained a position that any decision must be underpinned by scientific and medical advice and are assured that Welsh Government is doing so.
“There has to be an acceptance that a return to school is going to be difficult and challenging but the people who are best placed to work through those challenges are school leaders as they know their schools, their staff, their pupils and their families.
“It is that local knowledge that is going to be vital in making sure robust risk assessments are in place so that each setting is safe and appropriate.
“Now is the time to work together to overcome those challenges and make sure that schools have the resources to put plans into practice.”
Ruth Davies, President NAHT Cymru said: “Our preference was for a year 5/6 return but we are supportive overall of the government’s endeavours and appreciate the flexibility within its statement to allow school leaders to plan a return which is “phased” and “over time”.
“A return in June allows schools to test out small scale models as part of their preparation for the longer-term plan from September, but we need clarity from Welsh Government about these plans now rather than later in the summer.
“The rest of the summer term focuses on the "check-in" element and we need to be clear on that. As far as pupil progress is concerned, we know that it rarely follows a steady upward trajectory. Teachers are used to dealing with the unexpected and moving pupils on from periods of dip and plateau, it is what we are about. Teachers will pick up where individual pupil progress sat in March, as they are already doing through remote learning packages.”
NAHT Cymru response to guidance documents:
Laura Doel, Director of NAHT Cymru said: “The guidance documents afford school leaders the flexibility to make the decisions on return to school plans that work for their settings. There was never going to be a one size fits all approach within the guidance because Welsh Government recognises that no two schools are the same.
“There are elements of the guidance that we would have wanted more clarity on in terms of calculating school capacity as we believe that this must be based of a school specific risk assessment. We would still like to see a school-specific protocol for what to do if someone presents symptoms of Covid-19 in school but will work with Welsh Government and the Local Authority employers to ensure robust processes are in place for the protection of staff, pupils and parents.”
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