Published Wednesday, 13 January 2021
The Council Leader and the Cabinet Member responsible for education and skills have written to the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, urging him to make teaching staff, schools and early years and nursery staff a priority in receiving the Covid-19 vaccination.
In a joint letter Cllrs George Duggins and Kevin Maton hail the “incredible contribution” those staff have made throughout the pandemic and the role they continue to play in helping the country fight back.
They point out no school in Coventry has closed down since the first lockdown as they have provided a crucial service to vulnerable children and the children of key workers.
In the letter Cllrs Duggins and Maton say:
“This has been critical in protecting some of the most vulnerable in our society and allowing key worker parents to continue to play their critical roles in providing frontline services or supporting an under-pressure economy.
“Parents depend on this service, but even more importantly children unable to attend school are missing out on their education and surely educating our children is the most important thing we can do.
“In Coventry, schools, nurseries and their workers have played a heroic role throughout the pandemic, working with us at the Council to try to make premises Covid-secure and providing both practical and emotional support for our children and their families.”
Despite this they believe the role of staff has not been fully appreciated by the Government and they are calling on Mr Hancock to demonstrate his support with practical actions.
The letter concludes:
“We believe the early vaccination of school and nursery staff would protect the health of a group working in an environment which is increasingly likely to expose them to the virus.
“Teaching staff in Coventry are feeling let-down and under-valued, not only about being so far down on the vaccine list, but also to hear parents are being encouraged to complain to Ofsted should they feel their school’s online teaching isn’t good enough despite the most trying circumstances. This is all on top of news earlier this earlier this year they will have a pay freeze.
“Actions speak louder than words and we therefore urge you to demonstrate how valued teaching staff are by prioritising them for a vaccine and let them continue to do the incredible jobs they do in educating this country’s next generation.”