Online learning to continue for Powys schools

Schools across the county will continue with online learning until February half term, Powys County Council has said.

Today (Friday, January 29), Education Minister Kirsty Williams confirmed that the current arrangement for schools in Wales will remain in place up until the end of half term.

Schools will still be open but only for children of critical workers and vulnerable learners.

The Education Minister also confirmed they plan for pupils to begin returning to school from Monday, February 22 but this depends on coronavirus transmission rates continuing to fall.

The return of learners to schools will also be a phased approach, the Education Minister also said, starting with the youngest learners in primary schools.

Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Property, said: “I welcome the Welsh Government’s decision. Although the public health situation has improved across Wales, a caution approach is still required because we know that the situation can change very quickly.

“Like the Welsh Government, we are also committed to face-to-face teaching and learning as soon as possible but only when it is safe to do so.

“The message remains clear from the Welsh Government – a return to school for our learners will only be possible if the transmission rate continues to fall and public health conditions allow their return.

“We are still in a serious situation so it is vital that we all follow the advice to stay at home and protect our health service.

“Schools will continue to remain open but only for children of critical workers as well as vulnerable learners where absolutely necessary. However, it is important that children remain at home wherever possible, as this is the safest place for everyone.

“Our priority is the safety and wellbeing or our learners and school staff.  We will continue to work with our schools, supporting them during these difficult times and help them plan for the return of pupils when it is safe to do so. Until then, online learning in Powys will continue until further notice.

“I would like to thank schools for their ongoing efforts to support pupils during this difficult time and I would also like to thank parents for their patience and co-operation during this unprecedented period of disruption to our schools.”