Will schools close early for Christmas?

SCHOOLS in Wales could shut a week early for Christmas in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Council bosses along with local government are currently consulting with heads to move learning online for the final week of term.

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Will schools close early for Christmas?

Nothing has been decided at all.

The possible move comes after First Minister Mark Drakeford said he did not want schools to shut again.

And while the decision would ultimately be down to the Welsh government, Carmarthenshire Council said they are in "regular dialogue with the Welsh Government and will make decisions based on consideration of all information available."

Another council leader said: "Everything is under review."

Ceredigion, Conwy, Caerphilly and Bridgend councils all said they were waiting for government guidance.

But Monmouthshire Council said "there is no plan to end face to face term early" at this stage.

Education minister for Merthyr Council Sue Walker said parents needed to know if schools will shut early, adding: "There is a lot of concern".

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Welsh Government said: "We have had regular dialogue with local authorities and unions throughout the pandemic and these discussions continue.

"Our priority remains ensuring that all children and young people's education continues with as little disruption as possible."

In England, Boris Johnson has urged parents not to take their kids out of school early and said that all pupils should finish the term as normal.

Why could schools close early for Christmas?

Unions have called for schools right across the UK to be closed a week early – on December 11 rather than seven days later.

The idea is to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Dilwyn Roberts-Young, general secretary of teaching union UCAC, has written to education Minister Kirsty Williams calling for schools to shut on December 11.

"The fact that pupils and students will continue to attend an educational setting a week before Christmas Day is raising serious concerns for our members," his letter read.

"If a pupil/student tested positive with Covid-19 during the last week of term, it would mean that the whole bubble would have to self-isolate, preventing them from joining their extended family for Christmas.

"The same could be true for the education workforce.

"In addition, Test, Trace and Protect could continue to contact school and colleges leaders on Christmas Day, which is totally unacceptable."

When do schools currently break up for Christmas?

There is no one set date across the UK for schools to break up for the Christmas holiday although the majority of schools are set to break up on December 18.

Some though are set to finish as late as December 21.

Schoolkids though wouldn’t have to turn up to school a week earlier than originally planned, if the idea is given the green light.

But lessons would still take place online.

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