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14 February 2022
ATISN 15983 – Guidance for Schools
Thank you for your request which I received on 19 January 2022. You asked for:
- Information regarding the consultation process that took place in relation to the Local COVID-19 Infection Control Decision Framework for schools.
- Information regarding the consultation process in relation to ‘Guidance for staff in special educational provision following potential contact with COVID-19: key steps for staff and employers’.
- Information relating to risk assessments, impact assessments, or equality impact assessments relating to the two documents listed above.
- Information relating to risks/impacts to special schools identified within these assessments, and processes put in place to mitigate these risks.
- The Children’s Rights Impact Assessments for the two documents listed above. If Children’s Rights Impact Assessments do not exist for the two documents listed above, copies of any documents relating to the decision not to undertake these assessments.
The speed at which things have moved throughout the pandemic and the iterative nature of guidance has meant that we have had to adapt our standard processes, including consultation, typically used for policy development for the development and updating of operational guidance for schools. However, the collaborative process adopted throughout this period has been a key part of this work. We have engaged closely and regularly with education sector stakeholders including the Association of Directors of Education in Wales (ADEW), education portfolio holders in the Wales Local Government Association (WLGA), head teacher groups, education unions, and the Children’s Commissioner for Wales.
In relation to the guidance for staff in special educational provision following potential contact with Covid-19 this was specifically developed following engagement with representatives from a group of special schools. Please note that this guidance has recently been updated – it can beaccessed on our website.
Impact Assessments, Equality Impact Assessments and Children’s Rights Assessments
Integrated Impact Assessments (IIA) and Children’s Rights Assessments (CRIA) have been undertaken for key changes to our guidance for schools, rather than for every iterative change. Published IIAs and CRIAs can be found at https://gov.wales/impact-assessments-coronavirus. I have listed some which may be of interest to you below:
Further equality impact assessments and children’s rights impact assessments were undertaken for the two planning days provided to schools in January to review and update contingency plans, ensuring robust plans are in place to respond to further instances of disruption over the coming weeks and months. These have not yet been published but are attached below.
Information relating to risks/impacts identified for special schools and processes to be put in place in schools to mitigate these risks
The Local COVID-19 infection control decision framework for schools and associated guidance requires every school to undertake risk assessments. These risk assessments should take into consideration our guiding principles, which are to:
- enable schools to offer as wide a range of support and experiences as possible, including the provision of free breakfast and after school clubs, extra-curricular activities and practical subjects
- secure the best outcomes for all learners by considering both their educational needs and wellbeing
- manage 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.
If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at:
Information Rights Unit,
or Email: Freedom.firstname.lastname@example.org
member to quote the ATISN reference number above.
You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office,
However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.