Following the news that several schools have had whole year groups, and in one case, a whole school required to self-isolate due to covid outbreaks recently, Laura Anne Jones has called for a statement from the Minister of Education.
Schools, teachers and pupils across Wales have been put under immense pressure during the pandemic. When schools first reopened across Wales in June 2020, concerns grew due to the number of pupils who were forced to self-isolate after potential exposure to the virus. Whilst numbers continue to rise in Wales, the pattern in schools of large numbers of pupils being required to self-isolate is beginning to repeat itself.
“It is a travesty that the Welsh Government has failed to protect schools and pupils for a second time. This is not first time, nor an isolated instance where our children’s education has been affected.”
“The Welsh Government need to seriously consider new measures to ensure our children can attend school in person and implement measures to ensure they are at a minimal risk of exposure. Schools have closed for far too long since March last year, it is not just our children’s education that has been impacted but their mental health and wellbeing as well.”
Speaking in the Senedd today (22.06.2021) Shadow Education Minister, Laura Anne Jones, has raised concerns over the growing number of children have to return to online learning instead of attending school in Wales.
Questioning the Minister for Education, Laura said:
"Business Minister, it's important that we now try to bring back a sense of normality back to our country in terms of coronavirus restrictions and dealing with this pandemic. That sense of normality is particularly important for our young people, ensuring that they have as much in-school learning as possible, with all the benefits I've previously outlined in this Chamber. Yet, this week, in the whole school, in Greenhill School in Tenby, the learners are being taught online due to COVID worries.”
“We need a sustainable pathway, Business Minister, for dealing with coronavirus in our schools. So, can the Education Minister make a statement on what new measures he'll be looking at, and the Government are looking at, to ensure that children are in school learning for the maximum amount of time, as whole-school year groups going off and whole schools closing is not a sustainable way forward due to the importance of in-school learning for learners, and the disruption that being at home is causing parents?”