CONWY County Borough Council are working towards the re-opening of schools following the Welsh Government's announcement.

Kirsty Williams, education minister, revealed on June 3 that all children will have the opportunity to 'check in, catch up, prepare for summer and September' as she published details of the next phase for schools in Wales.

In each school there will be a phased approach. Year groups will be split into cohorts with staggered starts, lessons and breaks. It is expected that this will mean, at most, a third of pupils present at any one time, though schools may need time to reach this level of operation.

Cllr Julie Fallon, Conwy’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “We listened intently to the Minister’s announcement.

"I’d like to reassure parents that we’ll be looking carefully at the guidance from Welsh Government next week, and working closely with schools and GwE, the regional consortium, to plan how to put arrangements in place.”

The six local authorities in North Wales and GwE are in regular contact with schools, informing, supporting and listening as they continue preparing for the next phase.

Conwy Council have devised a regional practical framework and dashboard of information to support school leaders and governing bodies as they respond to the needs of their learners and staff.

The Welsh Government is expected to publish further guidance next week, including information on managing facilities and logistical arrangements, including buildings, resources, cleaning and transport.

Conwy Council said it will follow this guidance, prioritising wellbeing of learners, staff and families and support school to plan a phased approach that is 'right for their community'.

It is proposed that all schools will start the next phase on June 29, with the term extended by a week, therefore ending on July 27.

In the next academic year, beginning in September, the intention is that the autumn half-term break will be expanded to two weeks.

There will be much smaller classes, providing 'secure dedicated time' with teaching staff and classmates. This time will include online and personalised classroom experience, getting children and staff ready for a similar experience in September.

Ms Williams said: "My announcement gives schools three and a half weeks to continue preparing for the next phase. We will use the last weeks of the summer term to make sure pupils, staff and parents are prepared – mentally, emotionally and practically – for the new normal in September.

"June 29 means there will have been one full month of test, trace and protect, which will continue to expand. I can also announce that teachers and teaching assistants will be a priority group in our new antibody-testing programme. As we continue to keep Wales safe, this approach will be critical.

"The evolving science suggests that warm weather and sunlight gives us the best opportunity to ensure more time in school. Waiting until September would mean almost half a year without schooling. That would be to the detriment to the wellbeing, learning progress and mental health of our young people.

"This is and has been a worrying period for us all. I know that many will feel apprehensive. We have not rushed this work and this decision.

"The three and a half week period before the next phase also gives us time to keep watch on developments elsewhere and provides further check-points to review evidence and the roll-out of testing.

"This is the best practical option that meets my five principles which underpin my decision making.

"I am also convinced that it is only by returning to their own school that we will see increased attendance from our more vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

"Working together we will secure equity and excellence for pupils as they check in, catch up, and prepare for summer and September."