RCPCH welcomes plan for re-opening schools in Wales

We respond to plans from the Welsh government to re-open schools in September.

Dr David Tuthill, Officer for Wales, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said:

"Over 2,500 of our members signed an open letter two weeks ago calling on the UK’s governments to publish plans reopen schools more fully, so paediatricians will welcome today’s announcement from the Education Minister Kirsty Williams that we have a plan for getting children back to school in Wales. We were pleased that most children were able to have some contact time in schools this term but it is really important now that schools, teachers and parents are able to plan for September. We also welcome the funding made available to ‘recruit, recover and raise standards’. We hope this will form part of a broader recovery plan for children and young people.

"The evidence around COVID-19 is improving and we now know that children are less susceptible to COVID-19 as adults and almost never get severely ill. The evidence from many countries around the world is that transmission in schools is low.

"Teachers do so much more than teach and schools provide so much more than education. It is a vital point of contact for public health services, safeguarding and access to mental health support that help children get the best start in life. The longer schools close, the more children miss out. We’re particularly concerned at the inequalities that will result because the impact of COVID-19 is borne by children and families who have the fewest resources and need the most support.

"It’s important now that we see the Test, Trace, Protect programme working effectively with schools to give parents, teachers and children the confidence they need – especially if we do have a second wave."