Welsh schools will not reopen on June 1, education minister says
Education minister Kirsty Williams has said that schools in Wales will not re-open on June 1.
Most schools have been shut for around six weeks in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown, with some remaining open for vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers.
Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford had said that a minimum of three weeks’ notice would be needed for schools to reopen, which would enable them to open from the beginning of June at the earliest.
However, Williams has been clear that “the situation for schools in Wales will not change on June 1” despite speculation, adding that any decisions regarding Welsh schools will be “communicated well in advance” of the reopening date.
Williams said: "We are working closely with local authorities to ensure that schools are supported in this preparation work.
"In the meantime, critical workers and those who need to use schools or hubs for your children should continue to do so.
“We will continue to be guided by the very latest scientific advice and will only look to have more pupils and staff in schools when it is safe to do so.
"We will, of course, need to ensure that social-distancing requirements can be adhered to."
The news came after head teachers and unions had raised concerns over how social distancing could be properly maintained once schools reopen.
Education secretary Gavin Williamson has previously said that the government will take a “phased approach” to reopening schools, which could include only allowing select year groups to return initially.
Prime minister Boris Johnson is due to address the nation on Sunday evening, where he is expected to present his exit strategy and announce when restrictions are likely to be eased.