Teachers in Norfolk special schools to be prioritised for Covid vaccine

Norfolk County Council is to borrow £120m to build four new special schools. Picture Barry Batchelor

Norfolk County Council has confirmed teachers in special schools will be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccinations. - Credit: PA

Teachers in Norfolk's special schools are to be prioritised to be given the coronavirus vaccine.

Norfolk County Council confirmed it is moving ahead with its plans to get jabs to staff working with some of the county's most vulnerable children.

Almost 2,000 members of staff working in special schools will be prioritised for vaccinations.

Sara Tough, director of children services at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Sara Tough, director of children services at Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Julian Claxton Photography

Sara Tough, director of children's services at the council, said: "We are prioritising special school teachers for vaccination, as part of the health and social care workforce because they are providers of education, health and care and work directly with some of Norfolk’s most vulnerable children.

"All children in special schools will have an education and health care plan and many staff will have to administer personal care and administer medication.

"There will also be children in special schools who have medical needs that put them at greater risk of infection.

"Health and social care staff fall within the second priority group on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation list, with a target to vaccinate the top four priority groups by February 15.”

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Recent days have seen debates about whether teachers should be placed on the priority list for vaccinations.

Calls for teachers to be placed on the next priority list have continued to be heard over the past few weeks.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said on Thursday that he hopes schools in England can fully reopen before Easter.

"I would certainly hope that that would be certainly before Easter," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

He also told Sky News that he intends to give schools and parents a "clear two-week notice period" of reopening.

Mr Williamson also said he hoped a programme of daily coronavirus tests in secondary schools and colleges as an alternative to self-isolation would be able to resume.

The scheme was suspended on Wednesday on the advice of Public Health England amid concerns about the new variant coronavirus.

Norwich researcher Dr Katherine Deane, branch equalities officer for the University and College Union, had previously raised concerns that the tests could lead to the virus spreading.