Some primary school pupils will return in Wales after half term, the Education Minister has said.

Education minister Kirsty Williams told today's Welsh Government briefing that children in the foundation stage of their schooling – which covers three-to-seven-year-olds – would return to school from February 22.

Some students on vocational courses, including apprentices, will also be given the chance to return, she added.

And teachers will be offered twice weekly Covid testing to help keep them safe.

“We have been clear that our children’s education is a priority throughout this pandemic,” she said.

“Sadly, we are not yet in a position to be able to see a full return to school for every learner.

“However, thanks to people following our national guidance, there is sufficient headroom for us to bring back some of our learners in a phased, flexible and progressive way.

“After half term, from February 22, our foundation phase learners will start to return to school during that week.

“Children of critical workers and vulnerable learners, as well as those taking exams or assessments and learners in special schools, will continue to be able to attend as they have done throughout the pandemic.”

She continued: “We have prioritised our youngest learners because of the favourable evidence on transmission in younger children, and also because we know they find it difficult to learn remotely.

“Small numbers of vocational learners, including apprentices, will also be able to return to colleges.

“Again, this is because of difficulties with remote learning, as they will need to access training or workplace environments in order to undertake their practical qualifications.”

Ms Williams also said that additional financial support for schools to help make them Covid-safe.

She added: "Following productive discussions with our union colleagues and local authority and further education partners, we are introducing a number of additional measures to provide staff with an added level of assurance for their safe return to face-to-face teaching.

“This includes the introduction of twice-weekly testing for staff members as well as increased financial support for new face coverings.

“We are providing an additional £5 million to support schools, colleges and local authorities to invest further in items they need to keep their premises safe.”