I rise in the context of the Minister having just said in the covid debate that we are not yet out of the woods. I present this petition on behalf of the residents of Putney about the vaccination of school staff, alongside an online petition on the same topic, which has been signed by more than 250 teachers, parents and students.
Students have lost so much teaching time and we should do everything we can to keep schools open. Other countries have given their school staff priority for the vaccine and so should we. A major factor in the need to close schools has been staff shortages due to teachers themselves or other teachers being covid-positive, as social distancing is very difficult in schools. To ensure that schools can stay open rather than close because of staff shortages, to protect shielding parents and so that teachers and school staff are safer doing their jobs, it is crucial that teachers are prioritised for vaccines when vaccine supply allows. The residents of Putney, Roehampton and Southfields petition the Government urgently to prioritise vaccinating teachers and all school staff.
Following is the full text of the petition:
[The petition of residents of the constituency of Putney,
Declares that those working in schools are extremely vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus; further that a major factor in the need to close schools has been the failure to put in place measures to reduce the risks which school staff are subjected to; further that it is crucial that teachers are prioritised for vaccines to ensure that schools can stay open rather than close because of staff shortages, and so that teachers and school staff are safer doing their jobs.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to urgently prioritise vaccinating teachers and school staff.
And the petitioners remain, etc.]