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Covid: Special School Teachers Angry At Vaccine Wait

February 25, 2021

Special school teachers are angry they must wait for a Covid jab while office-based council employees have already had theirs.

Staff in North Tyneside said they were more at risk because some pupils struggled to wear masks, to socially distance or catch coughs and sneezes.

One teacher, who asked to be anonymous, said they felt “hung out to dry”.

North Tyneside Council said it was “disappointed” all teaching staff had not been prioritised for the vaccine.

Director of children’s and adult services Jacqui Old said the National Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) priority list did not include school staff.

But social care staff, transport escorts and staff in special schools who “provide direct personal care and clinical interventions” had been invited for vaccination, she said.

Industrial action

Teaching staff in North Tyneside said those working in similar schools in neighbouring authorities had been vaccinated.

“This wasn’t with leftover vaccine – they were given appointments at hospital,” one said.

“We feel hung out to dry and industrial action can’t be ruled out.”

One teacher said even staff required to physically restrain some pupils because of their behaviour had not been vaccinated.

“We already operate in environments that have more risks than mainstream schools due to the needs of the pupils,” they said.

“We have worked whilst other schools are closed and we even worked over our holidays last year to educate pupils and support families.”

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