Will schools close?
All secondary schools and further education colleges in Wales transitioned to online classes on Monday December 14.
A number of counties also closed primary schools early, including Cardiff and Swansea.
Mark Drakeford had initially been committed to keeping schools open for as long as possible, urging parents to continue sending their children until the end of term. On Nov 27, Mr Drakeford said, “It is important for our children not to miss out further.”
“Parents will know just how important this period the end of term is, especially in primary schools. Children benefit from being with their peers” he added.
Despite this, one school in Caerphilly, St Martin’s School, decided to end their term on December 10, after 68% of parents said they intended to keep their children at home for the last week of term.
Several other schools took the decision to close into their own hands, and the Welsh government felt considerable pressure with the infection rate rising in the lead up to the easing of lockdown over Christmas.
The decision has been criticised by the Children’s Commissioner for Wales as disruptive to education.
Universities will continue to offer both in person and online classes, but students must stay home in their university accommodation under the new rules.
They must stay at home, except for limited purposes such as exercise, and must work from home wherever possible.
What about exams?
Wales’ GCSE, AS and A-level exams due to take place in summer 2021 have been cancelled, Education Minister Kirsty Williams announced on 10 November.
Mrs Williams said it was impossible to guarantee a level playing field because of the impact of coronavirus, so grades will be based on externally set classroom assessments under teacher supervision.
Pupils will be able to go in to take exams but others will learn from home for an additional week, Mr Drakeford said.
“Other children taking examinations will be able to attend, but all other students will continue their learning from home,” he said.