Schools face Covid disruption until Easter: Education minister warns against canceling classes until spring due to staff sickness as retired teachers call for help on the day
- Nadim Al-Zahawi calls on former teachers to help schools overcome staff shortages
- Schools are said to be seeing a drop in teacher and student attendance
- Omicron wave expected to lead to higher levels of employee absenteeism in the spring
- The government requires those who have recently left the profession or who have trained for the job but have changed professions “to find one day a week for the spring semester”
Nadim al-Zahawi warned that schools will likely see disruption until Easter, as a surge in Omicron cases leads to a wave of staff absences, as he issued a desperate call for qualified teachers to sign up for help.
The education secretary is calling on qualified teachers — who have left the profession or who have worked in other jobs — to apply on Get Into Teaching as soon as possible, ideally before Christmas Eve, so they can join the workforce in January.
Schools are seeing a drop in attendance by both teachers and pupils ahead of the winter break, and Department of Education (DfE) officials yesterday admitted they expect Omicron to achieve high levels of staff absenteeism throughout the spring.
The government is now asking retired teachers to ‘apply and join the national mission’ amid fears that the number of teachers forced into self-isolation due to the coronavirus variant could lead to school closures or sending entire year’s groups home.
Nadim Zahawi warned that schools will likely see disruption until Easter, when a spike in Omicron cases leads to a wave of absenteeism for staff (Pictured: Parents doing school in September)
A new push to cut the ten-day Covid isolation period to a week after experts warned that current rules could cripple the economy
Ministers are considering reducing the quarantine period for people who have tested positive for Covid from ten to seven days.
As reported in the Daily Mail Saturday, health experts, lawmakers and business leaders called for change, warning that current rules risk crippling healthcare and the economy.
Anyone infected with the virus should be isolated for ten days after they first develop symptoms or test positive.
But the “blunt gadget” fails to explain the contagion and is fueling the “lockdown by stealth” by keeping so many people at home.
It has now been shown that modeling by government scientific advisors indicates that it would be possible to reduce the isolation period without having a significant impact on infection rates if people test negative before they are released.
Sources say a change in policy is being “considered” to prevent the country from stalling.
He even has the support of Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, whose death-fueled predictions led to earlier lockdown measures.
The Minister of Education, Mr. Zahawi said: “It has been my absolute priority since day one in my role to do everything in my power to protect education – which is why today I am asking any teacher who is no longer in the profession to apply if they are available to temporarily fill out periods of absence in the year. the new.
Even though 99.9% of schools were consistently open this semester, with the increase in Omicron cases, we must make sure that schools and colleges have teachers available to remain open for face-to-face teaching.
Anyone who thinks they can help should start the process now on Get Into Teaching, and everyone should be reinforced now to help reduce the amount of disruption caused by the virus in the new year.
“The Omicron variant is expected to continue to increase employee absenteeism levels in the spring, and some local areas may have difficulty finding sufficient numbers of available teachers unless previous employees come forward,” DfE said in a statement.
Dr Nikki Kanani, medical director for primary care at NHS England and NHS Improvement, also called on teachers and school staff to get a booster dose of Covid over the Christmas holidays.
Dr Kinani, a GP in southeast London, said: “We are asking teachers to apply during school holidays to get protection before school starts again.
“We have pop-ups, we have mobile units, and we’re working with community and religious leaders to make sure everyone has the opportunity to get that protection, so please go ahead.”
The Department of Education (DfE) said in a press release that some local areas may struggle to find sufficient numbers of available teachers unless former employees come forward.
Department of Education employees who are eligible to apply, and who are not working on the department’s response to the virus, will be released to do so.
The Disclosure and Prevention Service has stated that it will be ready to meet “any rise in demand for its service.”
The government is now asking retired teachers to ‘apply and join the National Mission’ amid fears that the number of teachers forced into self-isolation due to the coronavirus variant could lead to school closures or year-long groups sent home (Pictured: Nadim Zahawi)
The government is also working with Teach First to help bring a temporary return to the classroom for those who have trained as teachers but are currently working in other jobs.
Russell Hobby, CEO of Teach First, said: “Teachers have gone above and beyond during the pandemic, doing inspiring work to support their students and communities in the face of adversity.
However, the disruption to school life and long periods at home meant that pupils’ education inevitably suffered, particularly for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Given the challenges schools now face, we want to see what more can be done to help – including how we and our alumni who trained as teachers but currently work outside the profession, can support schools to stay open safely into the new year.
The government has previously set up a Provisional registration in March 2020 to support former social workers to return to frontline practice.