Voice Cymru has welcomed the announcement by the Welsh Government of extra teaching staff and its plan to “Recruit, recover and raise standards” in Welsh schools.
Senior Professional Officer Elizabeth Williams said:
"We welcome this announcement, which will provide much-needed additional resources for schools in Wales to enable further help to be given to those children most in need following the closure of schools due to COVID-19."
Commenting on the Welsh Government's 'back to school' plans for September, Elizabeth Williams said:
“We welcome the announcements so that staff can plan ahead, although with limited time to do so.
“The level of detailed planning and organisation required to make this work must not be underestimated, and is likely to mean many staff will continue to work without a break to implement this.
“We must be guided by the scientific evidence and advice on safety, but there must be a plan B in the event of a future spike in cases.
“Whilst we welcome the resources announced, we still have concerns that they are inadequate to provide the support in schools that will really be needed.
“There are still concerns to be addressed, such as on school transport, and also catch-up for pupils where individuals, classes or years have to be isolated at home, and how will this be taken into account for exams.
"There will also be a huge impact on cleaning and site staff and extra funding must be available where necessary to implement these plans.
“Despite the change in social distancing, if schools do not have sufficient space, it may still not be possible for all schools to open with a full complement of pupils in the Autumn.
“We will continue to raise these concerns with the Welsh Government, and look forward to discussing the forthcoming guidance on childcare and nursery education.”
New guidance to support September schools return Press release (added 13 July 2020)
Written statement: Publication of guidance to support educational settings increase their operations from September 2020 Cabinet statement (added 13 July 2020)
Voice was consulted on both of the documents above, and Senior Professional Officer Elizabeth Williams contributed to paragraphs throughout the final version, particularly in the Staff Wellbeing section in the operational guidance.
Education Minister announces ‘back to school’ plans for September Press release Coronavirus (COVID-19)