Information relating to policy decisions on the Covid-19 measures in Welsh schools and the continuation of these measures following the move to Alert Level 0 in January 2022.
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11 February 2022
ATISN 16040 – COVID restrictions in Welsh schools
Thank you for your request which I received on 1 February 2022.
You asked to see documentation informing or relating to policy decisions on the Covid-19 measures in Welsh schools and the continuation of these measures following the move to Alert Level 0 in January 2022.
In 2020 we published our Coronavirus Control Plan for Wales, and it remains a priority to keep schools open for as many learners as possible to maximise learning and minimise disruption for our children and young people. We recognise the long term impact of school closures and disruptions on their education, mental health and wellbeing. It is vital that schools remain safe environments for learning and teaching. Our national Local Covid-19 Infection Control Decision Framework for Schools, published in September 2021, enables schools to tailor interventions that are based on a balance of harm and align to the current national level of risk, to reflect local risks and circumstances.
Thanks to the hard work and efforts of everyone in Wales and the success of our vaccine and booster programmes, we have passed the peak of this Omicron wave and there are encouraging signs that cases of coronavirus may be starting to stabilise, however, we need to continue taking steps to stay safe as unfortunately the pandemic is not over yet. The Welsh Government’s position is that although we have completed the move to Alert Level 0 we should retain some important protections, such as face coverings in most indoor public places and risk assessments. Our approach may vary from that taken elsewhere in the UK, but it is consistent with policy development here in Wales.
We take advice from our Technical Advisory Cell (TAC) and scientific and medical experts, including the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Officer for Welsh Government and Public Health Wales officials on Covid related issues. The TAC reports can be found here - Technical Advisory Cell | GOV.WALES
Integrated Impact Assessments (IIA) and Children’s Rights Assessments (CRIA) have also been undertaken for our guidance for schools. These can be found at -https://gov.wales/impact-assessments-coronavirus
I have listed below some which specifically relate to your request:
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.
Every school should undertake risk assessments and put measures in place to mitigate against local risks; schools are supported by public health officials and local authorities to ensure these measures are appropriate and based on evidence.
As announced by the Minister for Education and Welsh Language on 11 February 2022, schools will return to local decisions being made using the Local Covid-19 Infection Control Decision Framework for Schools after the half term break.
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
Please remember 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.