Last reviewed 22 February 2021
Children aged between three and seven return to face-to-face teaching in Wales from Monday 22 February, mirroring similar provisions also being seen in Scotland.
These developments form the first part of plans to relax current coronavirus restrictions in Wales, which were unveiled last week. As with other parts of Britain, this will be a gradual process and could be subject to changes as time goes on, however potential dates for further easing of restrictions have been listed by the Welsh government. Provided the R rate remains low, the following is what is currently planned:
1 March — wedding venues allowed to reopen for limited size ceremonies
12 March — current stay at home restrictions will be reviewed current stay at home restrictions will be reviewed
15 March — more children could start returning to school and a possible reopening of some non-essential shops, such as hairdressers, could happen
Easter — target date for the reopening of tourism and hospitality.
The Government has remained clear that, aside from in exceptional circumstances, parents will not face fines for failing to return their children to school and are very keen for the return to be done in a “phased and progressive way”. Additionally, some areas in North Wales, including Wrexham and Anglesey, are to delay returns until later in the week due to levels of infection in these locations.
Speaking on plans going forward, Education Minister Kirsty Williams has stated that the priority “will be to use whatever headroom we have to maximise face-to-face learning for Years 11 and 13, and many head teachers that we're consulting with would like some flexibility to get some Year 10 and Year 12 students in as well”.
She goes on to say that “we might have to do that on a routine basis, allowing us to cut the number of children in the class down, helping to keep those schools as Covid-secure as possible”.
This comes as Scotland also welcomes back children in primary’s one to three, alongside partial returns for some older students if necessary for national qualifications. In England, the Prime Minister is expected to announce a full roadmap out of lockdown later today, with a full return of children to schools currently expected from 8 March.