Statement on Welsh Government’s schools announcement

16 December 2021

Responding to the Welsh Government’s 16 December announcement on schools, Prof Sally Holland said:

“I think today’s announcement is a proportionate response to a very fast-moving picture. It gives school leaders, who have worked so hard against the odds to provide a safe and nurturing education environment for our children, the time and space in the new year to take stock of the availability of staff and properly assess the situation. Critically for me, it should mean children and young people beginning the next term with as much clarity as the circumstances allow, limiting as much as possible the huge impact the virus continues to have on their learning and their wellbeing. I acknowledge that if the new term was to restart without the time to do this, it’s possible that there would be greater disruption for children and their families.

“Throughout the autumn term, there have been considerable concerns about supporting young people sitting exams. I’m pleased to see further support announced today in response to this ongoing and significant disruption – it’s critical that pupils know that they have options and support, and that this package of support is delivered to them without delay.

“There are few straightforward solutions but I continue to press the Education Minister and his team to consider the wide range of children’s needs and rights as they make these difficult decisions.”