Jeremy MIles MS, Minister for Education
I would like to inform you that the local COVID-19 Infection Control Decision Frameworks for schools and colleges have been published today.
The Frameworks set out arrangements for the delivery of learning, enabling schools, colleges, work-based and adult learning providers to tailor interventions to reflect local risks and circumstances. It consists of core measures that should be in place, regardless of the risk level, and variable measures that may be tailored to reflect the level of risk identified. They will be supported by public health officials and local authorities to ensure measures are appropriate to their circumstances.
The guiding principles at the heart of these Frameworks are to:
- enable education to operate as ‘business as usual’ as far as possible
- secure the best outcomes for all learners by considering both their educational needs and wellbeing
- manage the ongoing risks of COVID-19 as safely as possible as for other infections, and ensure clarity of actions required if there is a case in a school or college.
The approach set out in the Frameworks should be adopted as soon as possible after the start of term, and by 20 September 2021 at the latest. Local authorities will be discussing with schools over the coming weeks how this approach will be embedded into their operational arrangements, ensuring that staff, learners and the wider education community understand the measures in place in their school.
I would like to thank local authorities, colleges, trade union representatives and public health officials for engaging positively with us throughout the development of the Frameworks. Our shared ambition is to ensure learners can continue to access as wide a range of experiences as possible in a way which keeps everyone safe. The Frameworks will support us in managing the challenges of the pandemic whilst keeping Wales learning.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.