We have received questions from members concerned that when calls are made by politicians and the media for vaccination of teachers, support staff are not always mentioned.
We too were concerned about the Government’s intention to vaccinate teachers but not the rest of the workforce so we contacted the DfE for clarification.
We are pleased to say that we got a very quick response to say that when ministers referred to ‘teachers’ in the House of Commons, they used it to refer to the whole education workforce.
At the moment, the Department for Education is putting together the case for teachers and other education staff, as it will be the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) who will make the decision on the priority groups for phase 2 of the vaccination programme.
We are still hoping that those who work with vulnerable children and in special schools will be prioritised in phase one, as they provide care as well as education, but we need to wait for a decision to be made.
We are awaiting official guidance documents to verify all of this, and will keep asking the questions and holding our leaders to account, but we are pleased that our call is being heeded and a response was forthcoming.
Often, the media use 'teachers' in headlines, but the articles and the politicians' comments they are reporting generally seem to include support staff too, for example:
Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson tells #BBCBreakfast he wants to see all teachers and support staff given the #coronavirus vaccine at the earliest moment.
More here: https://t.co/wUvyywBP7C pic.twitter.com/Q8rl0zgokO
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) January 21, 2021
"Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told BBC Breakfast she hoped the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) would be in a position to decide whether teachers and support workers should be moved up the vaccination priority list by mid-to-late February."