Schools reopen in Wales this month.
Students will return to class starting February 22nd.
The youngest students, ages 3 to 7, in the founding phase, which includes children from kindergarten to second grade every year, are gradually returning after the mid-term break, which effectively ends on Sunday, February 21st.
To ensure this, teachers receive coronavirus tests twice a week. Wales Online Reports.
A decision on when older students can return will be made later this month.
The earliest schools in England will return on March 8, Boris Johnson said earlier this week.
Education Secretary Kirsty Williams announced the move today, Friday 5th February, at a Welsh Government press conference.
She said falling coronavirus rates and hospital stays had given the Welsh government enough headroom to start reopening schools.
She said an additional £ 5 million will be given to schools to help them reopen safely.
However, she said it is not yet safe to see a full return to school for every learner.
She also urged people to follow the rules outside of school, which means “no nights, no game dates, no birthday parties”.
She said, “I have to be absolutely clear: we’re being told over and over that our educational spaces are safe, but it’s the extra movement around them that adds to the R-number.
“So I must ask all learners, parents and carers to continue to follow the guidelines. By following the guidelines that limit contact with others, we ensure that children and young people are able to do what we do everyone wants to do, namely learn again with their friends. “
The Deputy Chief Physician of Wales, Dr. Chris Jones said all evidence suggested schools were safe and that the youngest children had very low rates of coronavirus infections and transmission.
He said school covid case rates have always been the same as the wider community and that far fewer cases are expected in schools than before.
He said, “The evidence on teachers’ outcomes has been very favorable … teachers have very similar coronavirus infection rates to the wider community, even when the case rates were this high.”
When asked when older children would be back to school, Ms. Williams said it was being considered part of the Welsh government’s three-week review cycle.
The next review is on February 19th.
“We hope to be able to give an indication of the next steps in education at this point,” she said.
She warned that more classes could only return to school if coronavirus rates continued to rise.
She urged people to stick to the rules and not meet outside of school to make sure case rates drop fast enough for more children to return to school.
She said: “After mid-term, starting February 22, our charter students will be returning to school this week. Children of critical workers and vulnerable learners, as well as those taking exams or assessments, and students in special schools will to do.” can continue to participate as they did during the pandemic.
“We gave priority to our youngest learners because transmission is positive in younger children and we know it is difficult for them to learn from a distance.
‘A small number of professional learners, including apprentices, may also return to higher education. This is again due to difficulties in distance learning as they need access to training or work environments in order to acquire their practical skills.
“After productive discussions with our union colleagues and local authorities as well as training partners, we are introducing a number of additional measures to give employees an additional level of security for their safe return to face-to-face classes.
“This includes the introduction of twice-weekly tests for employees as well as increased financial support for new face coverings.
“We are providing an additional £ 5 million to help schools, colleges and local authorities continue to invest in things they need to keep their premises safe.
“As we all know, there is only one childhood. That is exactly why we all work so hard to get young people back into school so they can study with their friends.”