Friday 5 March must have felt like “Good Friday” in many homes – the final day to get through home schooling! But for many school staff it may well have felt like “Bad Friday”. Next week many teachers will face the influx of their long-awaited pupils, having had no vaccines offered to them, and with no mandatory rules set on face coverings (Secondary schools ask for clarity from UK government on face masks, 2 March).
Teachers and university lecturers have worked hard to deliver quality online lessons over the last few months, and while they may be looking forward to having their students back in the classroom, without the protection vaccines could have given adults in teaching establishments, it’s going to be a risky time. The virus could have a field day – only time will tell.
What a sad reflection of the low value we as a society put on education and those who are dedicated enough to deliver it. Many of us have written to the health and education ministers to plead the commonsense case for putting teachers and all education staff in priority groups for Covid-19 vaccines, which would have given protection to these essential workers who will restore (and rescue) the learning of our young people. Sadly to no avail. I wonder how many teachers may be lost to the system as a direct result of ministers’ lack of direction.
Cloughton, North Yorkshire
• The change in rules allowing indoor care home visits from Monday (Some English care homes to delay allowing indoor visits over Covid risk, 4 March) will not benefit my 97-year-old mother or others in her care home in London. My weekly garden visits stopped in mid-February when a 28-day lockdown was imposed because two staff and one resident tested positive. Such outbreaks are set to continue across London, with many care home staff not being vaccinated.
Emerging evidence that the Covid-19 vaccine is effective against infection and transmission makes a strong case for vaccination of care home staff to be mandatory, not a choice. The 40 elderly residents in my mother’s home had no choice about being locked inside when they should have continued garden visits. Nor do they have a choice about being exposed to infection from unvaccinated staff.