Monmouthshire has become the fourth Gwent council to announce plans to close primary schools from Thursday and move learning online.

Caerphilly, Newport and Torfaen councils have already announced the plans, which will see schools close on December 17, with classes moving online for the last two days of term.

This news comes after the Welsh Government announced a Wales-wide plan to close secondary schools from Monday, with a blended learning approach for the last week of term.

A decision was made after concerns in rising coronavirus infection rates throughout Wales, but there was also mounting pressure from parents who did not want their children to self-isolate over the Christmas period.

Councillor Richard John, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “In light of the rapidly developing picture of COVID-19 cases across Wales, and alongside the Minister for Education’s announcement regarding secondary schools, a decision has been made for Monmouthshire’s primary schools to move to a model of blended learning after Wednesday, December 16.

“Thursday, December 17 and Friday, December 18 will be blended learning.

“This is not a decision that we have arrived at lightly but with an increasing prevalence across the county and a material impact on staffing levels in schools we believe that this step will allow us to reach the end of term safely for all.

“Face-to-face provision for our vulnerable learners will continue and we will make provision for childcare for NHS and social care workers. I would like to thank our school staff who have worked tirelessly this term to keep our schools safe environments for our children.”

The only Gwent local authority not moving primary school education online from Thursday is Blaenau Gwent because they moved both primary and secondary schooling online yesterday.