Schools have been seeking advice on how to handle Covid vaccination protests if they happen on site, the government has said.
In new guidance, issued this morning, the UK Health Security Agency also says it is aware that some schools have been receiving campaign letters and emails with misinformation about the vaccine programme.
The agency suggests that schools get in touch with the School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) team, which is in charge of administering the jabs to children, at the “first opportunity”, to establish “what security planning they have in place”.
“Schools should already have a security policy based on a security risk assessment. This process is covered in published guidance on school and college security,” it says.
“In the event of a protest or disruptive activity outside a school, or if schools know a protest is planned, they should alert the SAIS provider, local authority and police contacts to discuss the best way to manage the situation.”
Heads and teachers are also advised “not to engage directly” with false or misleading campaigns about the vaccine, as “misinformation narratives and tactics flourish when they are responded to”.
However, the agency says they should “acknowledge receipt of concerns” and “refer to the latest scientific guidance on the issue” if necessary.