Welsh Conservatives have today pressed Labour’s education minister on his plans for local Covid-safety measures.
On Monday, Jeremy Miles said it would be up to individual schools, colleges, and universities in Wales to decide their own Covid-safety rules in future - such as on social distancing, face masks and testing.
The announcement was met by backlash from teachers whilst the Welsh Conservatives warned that ministers should not pass the buck and put responsibility for Covid safety decisions on staff.
In a topical question in the Senedd this afternoon, Welsh Conservative education spokesperson, Laura Anne Jones reiterated this point and called for ‘clarity’ on the Labour Government’s plans for the autumn term.
Commenting outside the chamber, Laura Anne Jones MS said:
“This is another confusing and shambolic announcement by the Welsh Labour Government which has fallen apart at the seams.
“On Monday, Labour’s education minister chased an easy headline and said covid-safety measures would be decided locally by schools. Today – after a fierce and understandable backlash from teachers – he’s already started rowing back.
“This is not good enough and it’s clear very little groundwork was done in advance of the press conference, setting hares running without a care for what his proclamation would do. It is clinicians and ministers that should be responsible for such decisions, not headteachers.
“We are just over a fortnight away from the end of term and schools, teachers, pupils and parents need to know the plan for the return to education in the autumn. There can be no excuses – they deserve clarity.
“In the quest for a headline, the minister has caused chaos in the Welsh education system. That’s unacceptable and he must bring forward a detailed statement outlining every part of his plan before the end of the Senedd term.”