I hope teachers get vaccine priority, says Williamson

Education secretary says he hopes school and college staff are looked at 'in the most positive way' when Covid jab prioritisation decisions are made
31st December 2020, 12:11pm
Amy Gibbons

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I hope teachers get vaccine priority, says Williamson

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/i-hope-teachers-get-vaccine-priority-says-williamson
Vaccination

The education secretary has said he hopes that school and college staff will be "high up" on the Covid-19 vaccine priority list once the most vulnerable groups have received the jab.

Speaking in the Commons yesterday, Gavin Williamson said it is not within his "remit" to determine who receives vaccinations, but he is keen for education staff to be looked at "in the most positive way" when prioritisation decisions are made.

Matt Western, Labour MP for Warwick and Leamington, asked the education secretary if he will "prioritise frontline...teaching staff for vaccinations given the political will to keep schools and colleges open as much as possible".

Mr Williamson responded: "Obviously, as education secretary, it is not within my remit to determine who will be receiving vaccinations.


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"However, when we have worked through the groups that are most vulnerable to Covid, I certainly hope that those working in our education settings are looked at in the most positive way to ensure that they are high up on the list of those receiving vaccinations."

Mr Williamson was also asked by James Cartlidge, Conservative MP for South Suffolk, if he agreed that "were we to vaccinate as many teachers as possible as soon as possible, that would not only make schools safer and boost teacher morale but reduce the pressure to close schools in the first place".

The education secretary replied: "I often agree with my honourable friend, and I do not disagree with him on this occasion.

"Obviously, we have to prioritise decisions on vaccinations, taking into account a whole raft of areas. The key thing is prioritising those people who are most clinically vulnerable, but as we get through that stage of clinical need, I certainly hope that we can look at how we can vaccinate those who are in the teaching profession and who support education."

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