PLAID Cymru is calling for teachers to be vaccinated before schools are re-opened, as the Labour Party appears split on the issue on both ends of the M4.
Whilst the Labour Welsh Government has ruled out prioritising teachers for vaccination, the UK Labour Leader Keir Starmer and Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green were yesterday calling for the February half-term to be used as a window to vaccinate teachers to enable the safe reopening of schools.
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for Education, Siân Gwenllian MS said that the safety of all pupils and school staff should be the main driver of policy in preparation for the reopening of schools.
The UK Labour Leader, Sir Keir Starmer, made the case for teachers to be vaccinated during half term in PMQs yesterday (Wednesday 27 January) – calls which were echoed by his Deputy Leader, Angela Rayner in an interview this morning (Thursday 28 January).
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for Education, Siân Gwenllian MS said,
“When it comes to vaccinating teachers, the Labour party is facing both ways in Westminster and in Wales.
“The UK Labour Party has called this week for teachers to be vaccinated, suggesting this be done during half term week ahead of schools re-opening. Yet where they do hold power – in Wales – the Labour government has ruled out prioritising giving teachers the vaccine.
“The safety of all pupils and school staff should be the main policy driver as we prepare for reopening, yet teachers and other members of staff in schools will be asked to return despite not being vaccinated.
“Vulnerable groups should not be de-prioritised as the vaccine is rolled out, but staff in school settings should be added to the second tranche of the rollout, unless sufficient vaccine supplies allow them to be included earlier. This will give maximum confidence that schools can re-open as safely as possible.
“This will give teachers, parents and pupils the reassurance they need and deserve after months of such upheaval and uncertainty.”