Covid disruption in schools until EASTER: The Education Secretary has warned that classes may be cancelled up to spring due to staff sickness. He also calls upon retired teachers TODAY.

  • Nadim Zahawi is calling on ex-teachers to help schools battle staff shortages 
  • Teachers and pupils are reported to have low attendance in schools 
  • Omicron waves are expected to cause higher levels of staff absenteeism in spring
  • It is now asking for those in the workforce who are not currently employed or have previously been trained to perform the same job to apply to government to help them ‘find at least one day of work during the spring term.

School disruptions will be likely until Easter due to Omicron case increases, Nadim Zhawi said as he called for qualified teachers to register to help.  

The Education Secretary is calling on qualified teachers – who left the profession or who pursued other careers – to apply on the Get Into Teaching website as soon as possible, ideally before Christmas Eve, so they can join the workforce in January. 

Schools have been experiencing low attendance from both teachers and pupils ahead of the winter break, and Department for Education (DfE) officials admitted yesterday that they expect Omicron to bring about high levels of staff absence throughout the spring term.  

The Government is now asking retired teachers to ‘come forward and join the national mission’ amid fears that the number of teachers forced into self-isolation by the coronavirus variant could lead to school closures or entire year groups being sent home.

Schools will likely see disruption until Easter as a rise in Omicron cases sparks a wave of staff absences, Nadim Zahawi warned (pictured: Parents doing the school run in September)

As Omicron cases rise, schools will see school disruptions until Easter. (pictured: School run by parents in September).  

Experts warn of the dangers that existing rules can cause economic collapse. A new push is being made to reduce Covid’s ten-day isolation time to one week. 

Ministers are considering slashing the quarantine period for people who test positive for Covid from ten to seven days.

The Daily Mail reported that health professionals, MPs, and business leaders called for change.

Anybody infected by the virus should isolate within ten days of first becoming symptomatic or after testing positive. 

The ‘blunt Tool’ does not account for infectivity and fuels ‘lockdown with stealth’, keeping many people at home.

The government’s scientific advisors have now shown it can be reduced the isolation time without significantly affecting infection rates. If people get negative tests before being released, it will likely reduce that period.

Sources claim that the changes in policy are being considered to prevent the country’s grinding to a standstill.

Even Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London has backed it. His doom-laden predictions prompted earlier lockdowns.

Education Secretary Mr Zahawi said: ‘It has been my absolute priority since day one in the role to do everything in my power to protect education – which is why today I am asking any teachers no longer in the profession to come forward if they are available to temporarily fill absences in the new year.

Although 99.9% have been open in this term’s school terms, Omicron is increasing and we have to ensure that schools and colleges are staffed with teachers who can provide face-to-face instruction.

“Anyone that thinks they could help should start the process now on Get Into Teaching. Everybody should be boosted now in order to lessen the disruption of the virus during the next year.

DfE released a statement saying that the Omicron variation is likely to lead to increased staff absence in the spring term. Local areas could struggle to locate sufficient supply teachers unless ex-staff come forward. 

Dr Nikki Kanani (Medical Director of Primary Care in NHS England and NHS Improvement) also called for teachers to receive a Covid booster shot during Christmas break.

Dr Kanani is a South East London GP who said, “We are asking teachers to come forward during school holidays in order to get protected before school begins again.”

We have pop-ups, mobile units and are working closely with leaders of faith and communities to provide protection for all. So please, come forward.

According to the Department for Education, (DfE), some areas might struggle to hire enough supply teachers if former employees are not contacted.

DfE staff eligible to come forward, who are not working on the Department’s own covid response, will be released to do so. 

According to the Disclosure and Barring Service, it is ready and able to respond to any spikes in customer demand.

The Government is now asking retired teachers to 'come forward and join the national mission' amid fears that the number of teachers forced into self-isolation by the coronavirus variant could lead to school closures or entire year groups being sent home (pictured: Nadim Zahawi)

In order to reduce the risk of teacher self-isolation caused by coronavirus, the Government has asked retired teachers to “come forward and become part of the national mission”.

Teach First is also working together with the Government to provide a temporary back to school for teachers who are currently employed in another job. 

Russell Hobby (CEO of Teach First) said, “Teachers went above and beyond during the pandemic. They did an inspirational job to support students and their communities in the face adversity.” 

“Yet, the disruptions to school life as well as extended stays at home have meant that pupils’ education has suffered, especially for those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

‘Given the challenges that schools now face, we want to see what more can be done to help – including how we, and those of our alumni who have trained as teachers but currently work outside the profession, may be able to support schools to remain open safely in the new year.’

The government had established a previously. To support ex-social workers returning to the frontline, a temporary registry will be in place for March 2020.