Plaid Cymru Shadow Education Minister Sian Gwenllian MS and Ceredigion Council Leader and WLGA deputy spokesperson on education Ellen ap Gwynn call for announcement from Welsh Government on September school reopening

The Welsh Government must announce plans on the re-opening of schools now , Plaid Cymru have said.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said on Monday that his Government will make an announcement “before the end of the summer term “on the reopening of schools in September but Plaid Cymru say this doesn’t leave enough planning time for Heads and Local Authorities,

Plaid Cymru Shadow Education Minister Sian Gwenllian said the Welsh Government was showing a “lack of leadership” in delaying the announcement and that a “most likely scenario” can and should be announced as soon as possible.

Plaid Cymru Ceredigion County Council Leader and the party’s Education lead on the Welsh Local Government Association Ellen ap Gwynn said the lack of announcement was “frustrating for everyone” and that schools and Local Authorities who have worked “incredibly hard” during the crisis should be owed insights into what to expect in September.

Plaid Cymru Shadow Education Minister Sian Gwenllian MS said, “A proper plan for reopening schools in September is crucial for Head Teachers and Local Authorities – they have to know what they’ll be working towards in September. This type of announcement cannot wait until the end of term as sufficient planning time will be needed to make arrangements.

“The lack of leadership the Welsh Government is showing on this subject is disappointing and will have repercussions on the wellbeing and educational attainment repercussions for pupils in Wales, as it affects the ability to which schools are able to plan ahead.

“Of course the virus is of an unpredictable nature, and no one can know for sure what the situation in Wales will be in September, but the Welsh Government can know what the most likely scenario is for schools, and whether all pupils should be expected to return or whether distanced learning and smaller group face to face lessons will be the norm.”

Ellen ap Gwynn, Plaid Cymru’s educational lead on the WLGA added, “The end of the summer term is far too late for an announcement on reopening schools in September and is unfair on head teachers for whom planning towards reopening is a huge task. It’s incredibly frustrating for everyone.

“The Welsh Government owe it to schools and local authorities who’ve worked incredibly hard during these unprecedented times to make that announcement now – not before the end of term.”