The Coronavirus Act 2020 gives the Welsh Ministers powers relating to containing, preventing and managing the spread of coronavirus in schools, other education institutions and childcare settings in Wales. This includes powers to make notices temporarily removing or relaxing statutory provisions.
Section 3 of the Education Act 1996 has been temporarily amended so that 'A person is not for the purposes of the Education Act 1996 to be treated as a pupil at a school merely because any education is provided for that person at the school on a temporary basis for reasons relating to the incidence or transmission of coronavirus'.
This is necessary to prevent the children who are temporarily attending a different school or ‘hub’ from their normal school being registered there as pupils. Registration imposes certain obligations on a school, for example, to allow them to remain at the school at which they are temporarily attending during the coronavirus emergency. The modification ensures those children, instead, return to their current school when appropriate.
This fifth notice is effective for 30 days from 1 April 2021 and will be kept under review.
Actions for schools and local authorities
Schools and ‘hubs’ must not register pupils who temporarily attend for reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Records of attendance must be kept to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all those learners and staff. This record must include the days and sessions attended by each individual pupil. It must be available for inspection by local authorities and emergency services as necessary.
School places must be preserved for pupils who temporarily attend a different school, ensuring they may return to their normal school when this is permitted by Welsh Ministers.