THE LEADER of Coventry City Council and cabinet member for education and skills are calling on the Government to make teaching staff in schools and early years a priority for Covid vaccines.
In a letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Coun George Duggins and Coun Kevin Maton hailed the ‘incredible contribution’ staff had made during the pandemic.
They pointed out no school in Coventry had closed since the first lockdown, providing a crucial service to vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers.
They said: “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.”
The pair believe the staff’s role has not been appreciated by the Government and they are calling on Mr Hancock to show some support with practical actions.
They added vaccinating school and nursery staff would protect the health of a group working in an environment where there is an increased likelihood they would be exposed 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.”