Kirsty Williams AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education
There have been a number of malicious hoax communications to schools across the UK, including schools in Wales. These are now the subject of an ongoing police investigation. A number of Welsh schools were affected last week.
The National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) has produced advice to schools and other educational establishments in the UK which was circulated to all schools in Wales on 3 February 2016. Following malicious hoax communications to a few Welsh schools last week, we re-issued this guidance on 26 May 2016 reminding them of the need to review their security plans to confirm that the arrangements they should already have in place are still current and have been tested to ensure staff and students are prepared and confident.
The safety and security of pupils and staff is paramount, that is why I have agreed to work with the police to assist schools to review their protective security plans.
These incidents are disgraceful and abhorrent and may have a negative impact on learners taking exams. This is already a highly stressful time in young people's lives and this is an unnecessary and unfair additional worry for learners, parents and teachers.
All qualification awarding bodies have in place robust contingency measures to deal with incidents of this nature to ensure learners are not disadvantaged by any disruptions. I have asked Qualifications Wales, as the independent regulator, to keep me informed of developments. They have given an assurance that they will work with the other regulators, JCQ and the awarding bodies to ensure consistent and fair outcomes for all learners affected by these events.