Some schools in Wales will stay open during Easter break, education minister confirms

Some schools in Wales will stay open over the Easter holiday to support vulnerable children and those of key workers, the education minister has said.

During a press conference, Kirsty Williams AM said education professionals were "stepping up" to make sure there is provision available for critical workers over the easter period, which includes weekends and bank holidays.

She said 800 schools in Wales were open in their first week with around 3,500 children attending - approximately 1% of the population.

She also confirmed that children in Wales will also be offered free school meals during the break.

"Be in doubt education professionals are stepping up to this challenge with passion and commitment.

"We're the only UK nation to guarantee free school meals over the Easter period providing £7m of new funding", Ms Williams said.

"A further announcement will be made about a national scheme for the rest of the school year in the new future", she added.

She said universities and colleges have been at the "forefront" of the coronavirus battle deploying doctors and nurses to the NHS frontline and joining in on the "international effort to find a cure."

Plans to introduce a new curriculum in Wales in 2022 has not changed, Ms Williams said.

"Schools will soon receive advice on how to do that "even in these difficult times", she confirmed.

She told the press conference that it is "too early" to make any accurate predictions on whether cases will continue to increase in Wales but said people practising social distance and adhering to the lockdown measures is helping to save lives and "is flattening the curve".

"We will have to wait and see whether the continuation of these measures will be having an effect on the peak of the disease progression, but we are also absolutely clear it is too early to make accurate predictions what will happen next.

She said we could see peaks of the virus in parts of Wales at different times.

With many parents facing the challenge of now having to home school their children, Ms Williams said she knows it is "not an easy time" but it is "really important to give "yourself a break and not be too harsh."

She said the online learning platform Hwb is seeing around 200,000 logins a day around Wales.

"Where schools are able, they are providing support but please don't stress - do what you can and do what is right for your child", Ms Williams added,

  • Watch the full press conference:

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