Wednesday 15 December 2021 / 1:54 PM Coronavirus / Schools / Stephen Morgan

Labour demands Government ‘act now’ to protect children’s education

Labour is demanding the Government ‘act now’ to protect children’s education and prevent the chaos seen last January when children returned to school for one day before being sent home again.

Labour is calling on Ministers to deliver a Christmas vaccines guarantee so all 12 – 15-year-olds can get vaccinated during the holidays and use the break to get ventilation systems and testing support into schools to ensure children’s smooth return to classrooms for the new term.

Speaking in an urgent question in Parliament, Shadow Schools Minister Stephen Morgan MP will urge Ministers to learn from the last 20 months and prioritise children’s education by getting ventilation and vaccinations in place, saying: “Ministers must stop treating children as an afterthought, and act now to avoid chaos next term.”

Morgan will challenge the Education Secretary to adopt Labour’s calls for:

  • a clear, targeted communications campaign to parents on the benefits of vaccination
  • access to pop-up and walk-in clinics
  • the mobilisation of volunteers and retired clinicians

Latest data published this week shows 235,000 children were out of school due to Covid on 9 December with Covid infections rising particularly among primary age pupils.

Stephen Morgan MP, Labour’s Shadow Schools Minister, said:

“Children have been in and out of school facing ongoing disruption to education and wellbeing again this term. This cannot continue.

“The Government has continuously failed to plan ahead, but must act now and use the Christmas holidays to prevent the chaos seen last January.

“Labour is calling on Ministers to deliver a Christmas vaccine guarantee to ensure all 12 – 15-year-olds can get a jab during the holidays to keep kids learning next term. This must be delivered alongside practical ventilation measures in all schools, so teachers are not forced to open windows this winter.”