- National Education Union says lessons should be moved online for a fortnight
- Union says it will allow set-up of testing scheme and for vaccination of teachers
- SAGE has asked UK’s vaccines authority to model secondary school jab roll-out
- But Downing Street says it will continue to give vaccine to most vulnerable first
- Government education chiefs insisted today that schools will reopen in January
- It comes after Matt Hancock yesterday refused to rule out any changes to plans
Britain’s largest teaching union has today demanded classes be moved online for two weeks after Christmas to give school staff the chance to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
The National Education Union (NEU) has called on the Government to cancel face-to-face lessons for a fortnight at the beginning of the new term in January.
Union chiefs say the switch to online lessons, for all but vulnerable children and those of key workers, will help reduce cases amongst students.
They have also demanded that a mass-testing programme, which has already been promised by ministers, be fully functional before students return to school.
It comes as the Government today dismissed the possibility of vaccinating secondary school pupils in England as a way to curb the spread of the new Covid strain.
While education chiefs have vowed to keep schools open, experts are concerned that the new strain may infect children more effectively than the previous variant.