Primary school teachers say they feel “misled” by the current UK vaccination programme which they say has become a danger to them and their families.
Teachers across the UK are mixing with hundreds of children daily. One, Karen McCracken, described herself and her staff as “lambs to the slaughter”.
She works at St Joseph’s Primary school Droitwich and said: “We’ve not been advised when our vaccines will be.”
Many primary school students simply are unable to socially distance particularly within key stage 1 and early years, which has caused uncertainty among staff. Teachers are calling on the government to act because they have become increasingly concerned about their welfare.
AUDIO: Karen McCracken says teachers are facing a “nightmare”
St Joseph’s Primary School Droitwich has remained open since January 4, 2021. It has been supportive of many children whose parents are among those in key worker professions and those children who are classed as vulnerable.
St Joseph’s now has fewer children in school while many teachers and school staff await their Covid-19 vaccinations. Head teacher Cath Bryant has advised staff to “work on a rota basis and only attend school when absolutely necessary”.
They are advised to socially distance, wear masks, have as much ventilation in classrooms as possible and limit the number of staff on site at any one time.
The Department for Education has released guidance, Actions for School During the Coronavirus Outbreak. The guidelines prioritise the safety of staff and children. They focus primarily on issues regarding restricting attendance and guidelines of “what to do if a pupil is displaying symptoms”.
The guidelines infer that only those children who are vulnerable, have education, health and care plans or are children of critical workers should attend. This reduces the risk of infection to students and staff.