There has been a great deal of speculation about whether Carmarthenshire schools should close early ahead of the Christmas holidays - in the light of the rise in coronavirus cases that the county is witnessing.

With entertainment venues closing and people being actively encouraged to work from home questions have been asked about whether or not children should still be attending school.

Carmarthenshire County Council's executive board member for education and children’s services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “The council has been exploring various options for the last week of the school term , including the possibility of pupils learning from home for that final week of term.

“However, following consultation with our headteachers and after careful consideration it has been decided that all Carmarthenshire schools will remain open until Friday, December 18.

“Our pupils have already missed out on so much face-to-face learning not just these last few months, but many pupils have been affected during the autumn term having to self-isolate, sometimes more than once.

“We also considered the impact of moving to a distance learning model on key services such as health, the emergency services and social care, and the need to support our more vulnerable children and young people.

“There is also an argument that not being in school could actually risk a further spread of coronavirus in the community. Furthermore, only half of our schools to date have had to deal with a positive case of Covid-19 amongst its learners or staff.

“This matter has been the subject of considerable discussion, but we believe that the decision is the right one in the circumstances.”