Secondary pupils in Wales to ‘check in’ before Easter, education minister says

Adam Hale, PA Wales Correspondent

Some secondary pupils in Wales could return to schools to “check in” with teachers before the Easter break, the country’s education minister has said.

Kirsty Williams said the return would allow years 7, 8 and 9 to meet their teachers, with a focus on “support for wellbeing” and to prepare for full return after Easter, but would not be a full return to face-to-face teaching.

The plan, subject to the Welsh Government’s next three-week review, would be in addition to the return to school for older primary pupils and older learners taking exams, including years 11 and 13 from March 15.

Foundation phase children in Wales aged between three and seven have been back in classrooms since February 22.

On Wednesday, Ms Williams said: “Today, I am able to confirm our intentions to go even further, even earlier, and give schools the opportunity to welcome back learners in years 7, 8 and 9 before the Easter break.

“This would be to give learners the opportunity to check in with teachers, with a focus on support for wellbeing, and readiness for a full return to school after Easter.

“I want to make clear now that this will not be a full return to school for years 7, 8 and 9 before Easter.

“The focus before Easter will be on learners who are undertaking qualifications, especially those in Years 11 and 13, and those studying practical vocational qualifications.”

Ms Williams said full guidance for schools will be published from 9am on Wednesday to help with planning

All learners are expected to return to face-to-face teaching in the second week of April following the Easter break, though secondary pupils are only expected to be in school on a part-time basis.