More unnecessary pressure for teachers thanks to Labour’s ‘poorly-timed’ COVID plan

Labour ministers have been accused of putting more unnecessary pressure on teachers by publishing their coronavirus infection control plan with less than two weeks to go until schools return.

The Labour-led Welsh Government have been criticised by the Welsh Conservatives for the “poorly-timed” release of the framework, which sets out arrangements for the delivery of learning during the pandemic.

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Education, Laura Anne Jones MS, said:

“There are many points in this new plan that are welcome, but the release of the framework is poorly-timed with schools returning in a little under two weeks’ time.

I find it very surprising that teachers, who are already lesson planning for the upcoming academic year, are to be expected to digest the detail of the framework and put measures in place in such a short period of time.

“Labour ministers should have – and could have – published this document much earlier in the summer so schools knew exactly what was expected of them.”

Welsh Conservatives have also raised concern over a major contradiction between a recent Welsh Government statement and the framework.

On August 25, a Welsh Government announcement said that staff and learners in secondary schools and colleges, who are not showing symptoms should take regular rapid lateral flow tests twice a week.

But the framework, published two days later, said that in the ‘low risk’ category, which Wales is currently in, there should be “little or no” testing, and that there should be “targeted/focused” testing at ‘medium risk’ level.

Laura Anne Jones MS added:

“Either Labour’s Education Minister made the quickest U-turn in history, or there is a distinct lack of communication within the Welsh Government.

“To me, the best way to prevent large outbreaks of coronavirus at schools and colleges, and avoid major disruption to learning, would be to ensure that there is a regular testing system to identify cases before the virus spreads throughout the classroom.

“We need to see some clarity from the Education Minister, who should come out and address the situation.”

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