Education and Schools in Wales: check in, catch up, prepare for summer and September

03 June 2020
All children will have the opportunity to Check in, Catch Up, Prepare for summer and September”, the Education Minister Kirsty Williams announced as she published details of the next phase for schools in Wales.

We’ve set out the main points for parents below, and here’s the Education Minister’s announcement in full and sources of support for parents, including links for every Local Authority area.

What are the main points from the Minister’s announcement to be noted by parents in Wales?

  • Schools will start the next phase on 29 June, with the term extended by a week, therefore ending on 27 July
  • Autumn half-term break will be expanded to two weeks
  • Further Education colleges will re-open from 15 June for students requiring licence to practice assessments and vulnerable learners
  • Childcare providers will also increase the numbers of children in attendance from 29 June

How will this begin to happen?

  • In each school there will be a phased approach
  • Year groups will be split into cohorts with staggered starts, lessons and breaks
  • It is expected that this will mean, at most, a third of pupils present at any one time, though schools may need time to reach this level of operation
  • Much smaller classes, providing secure dedicated time with teachers and classmates
  • This time will include online and personalised classroom experience, getting children and teachers ready for a similar experience in September

Why has this decision been made and why now?

  • Since the decision to close schools for statutory provision, our understanding of the virus and its longer-term impacts has continued to develop
  • We know that we are going to have to live with it for some time
  • We know that it will remain our biggest challenge for the foreseeable future
  • It is now 77 days since we took that decision
  • We know that the classroom experience will be different for a long time to come
  • What we are doing is creating the opportunity for children to Check in, Catch Up and Prepare before the start of September

What happens next?

  • Next week, the Welsh Government will publish guidance to support childcare, schools, as well as further and higher education institutions
  • This will include information on managing their facilities and logistical arrangements, including buildings, resources, cleaning and transport

Further information for parents

  • Pupils are expected to attend school. However, families will not be fined if they do not send their children to school this term
  • Children and teachers who are shielding or at more risk, including pregnant workers, are not expected to return this term. This also applies for pupils and teachers who live with relatives who are shielding

Research in Wales

Survey of young people

  • Over 23,000 responses were received from Children and young people to the Coronavirus and Me survey, which is due to be published on 8th June on the Children’s Commissioner’s website
  • Year 6 children overwhelmingly want to say goodbye to their primary school (76%) and visit their secondary school before school starts (75%)
  • 12–18 year olds are reporting worries about learning (only 11% of respondents stated they did not feel worried about their education) and their highest concern about learning was that they were worried about falling behind (54%)
  • Parents in Wales responded to our recent Parentkind Coronavirus Parent Survey

For the latest information see: