GETTING children back to school in Wales is an "absolute priority", the education minister has said.

Kirsty Williams said that while she didn't have a "crystal ball" to make guarantees, her aim was to "minimise disruption to education and maximise face-to-face tuition".

The minister was speaking at the Welsh Government's coronavirus press briefing when she was asked to provide an update on the return to schools.

Ms Williams said: "We need to ensure that the virus is under control and see numbers in the community are dropping.

"That is a really important factor for enabling more children to go back to face to face education.

"We have had very productive conversations with our local education authorities who, like me, are determined to be as flexible and creative as possible to maximise face to face tuition, looking at parts of the cohort who may be able to go back sooner rather than later.

"Getting children back to school is an absolute priority for me and we will continue to explore every single possibility to get children back to school as quickly as it is safe to do so."


The education minister was also asked if she could see a return to schools, colleges and universities in the next six months.

She added: "I wish I had a crystal ball and was able to make those guarantees which I know many people really to want to have.

"We want to minimise disruption to education and maximise face to face tuition whether that be in our schools, colleges or universities.

"But we do need to be open to new approaches. SAGE challenges us to do this when they say we have to move away from the sterile debate about everybody being back or nobody being back at all.

"I am very interested in engaging with people to look at creative solutions so that we can maximise that face to face education that is so important."