12:00PM, Tuesday 16 February 2021
The headteacher of a Windsor school has written a letter urging the Government to prioritise the vaccination of teachers to ensure a safe and speedy return for students.
William Goldsmith, head teacher at St George’s School Windsor Castle wrote a letter to The Times signed by 135 teachers across the nation.
The letter urges the Government to vaccinate all teachers and school staff, along with other priority groups of workers.
Other Royal Borough schools that signed the letter include Eton Porny CoE First School, Eton End School, and Holyport College and St Piran’s School in Maidenhead.
“It’s about ensuring that when schools are safe to open there’s no further delay to children’s education,” said Mr Goldsmith.
“For every teacher who gets the virus, in theory the whole class will have to self-isolate.
“Every hour lost is a wasted opportunity – that crucial social and emotional connection has been lost.
“Schools are places of joy – it’s so much more than learning maths and English. You’re building a community.”
Councillor Stuart Carroll (Con, Boyn Hill), lead member for health said he agreed with the priority list which had been published by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which prioritises people most at risk from death or serious illness.
But he added there was a ‘strong case’ for teachers to be near the top of the list in the next phase.
He said: “I do think we need to focus on those public-facing key workers who are particularly vital to society and teachers are particularly critical.
“I think there is a strong case to say in the second phase teachers should be somewhere near the top of the list.”
A Government spokesperson said: “We are committed to reopening schools as soon as the public health picture allows, and will set out further plans for education settings, parents, pupils and students as soon as possible, providing as much notice as we can.
“We continue to follow the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, whose priority list is designed by experts and clinicians to prioritise those at greatest risk from coronavirus.”
Top Ten Articles
NHS data shows 187 people were being cared for at the trust’s three hospitals – Wexham Park, Heatherwood and Frimley Park – as of Tuesday, February 23.