Responding to the Education Minister’s announcement about the return to schools, colleges and other education settings this September, Professor Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, said:
“I’m so pleased that the Government has responded so positively to calls to maximise children and young people’s physical attendance at schools, colleges and other education settings this September, especially our call of providing a national minimum expectation.
“The guidance due out imminently must set out how to provide safe and welcoming provision in schools and colleges that avoids an overly risk-averse approach and in doing so balances children’s well-being and socialisation needs with physical safety. I am also hopeful the Government will continue to communicate the reassurance given by scientific advice to ensure families and children feel supported to return this September.
“Transport remains a very challenging issue and I will continue to press the Government to ensure there is clear guidance to enable families, local authorities, transport providers, schools and colleges to plan for September.
“Without doubt, this period has placed tremendous strain on children, their families and the whole school community. I trust this clarity and major investment will be a boost to all involved in our children’s education – especially to children and young people.
“This return can only happen if all of us across Wales keep following diligently all public health advice. I appeal to everyone in Wales to keep this in mind over the next few weeks, to ensure we can successfully achieve a full return to education settings this September.”