VACCINATION LIST: Push for city teachers to be a high priority
Liverpool’s children services chief said he is pushing for school staff to be high up any future priority list for coronavirus vaccinations.
The initial stages of the vaccination programme are focusing on those over 50, health staff and the clinically extremely vulnerable, with the rollout set to extend to others later.
Labour last month called on Downing Street to prioritise key workers in the vaccination program – but government advisers have continuously said the current approach will save the most lives.
Speaking at last night’s skills and economy select committee, Mr Reddy said the council would raise the prospect of placing teachers on any future priority list with the government.
Answering a question about vaccination from West Derby MP Ian Byrne, he said: “Among the groups that are going to be prioritised, certainly I expect teachers should be up there.
“I know there has been some research published around the extent to which the virus is spreading in schools, but I think it’s too complicated to say that there’s one definitive study that says ‘school is not a place where the virus is being spread’.
“Schools are a reflection of the community and, as we know, different communities are seeing different rates of infection.
“When we get any opportunity to raise that [with government] we are raising vaccination of teaching staff and all other school staff as well.”
Mr Reddy also said he was also hoping for further information and support from government on a wide range of other issues relating to school closures during the lockdown.
He said teaching unions and headteachers had a “high degree of axiety and stress” around what may be involved in “mini-assessments” that are set to replace exams this year, with Ofqual dueto provide further details on the mini-assessments next month.
He also repeated previous concerns about the effect of lockdown on children’s mental health and said that, despite donations of equipment, digital exclusion of children from schooling remained a critical issue across the city.
Words: Nick Tyrrell, Local Democracy Reporter
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