With schools shutting their gates, we urge the Government to recognise teachers and early years professionals as key frontline workers and prioritise them for the Covid-19 vaccine.

If the Government is serious about prioritising education and getting children back to school, they must show a commitment to protecting the staff that make this possible. Face to face learning has undoubtable benefits and we must minimise the disruption to education provision where we can, but this can only be done if a safe environment is created for all to return to.

Not only is it important for teachers to be vaccinated in order for schools to re-open, but it is also vital that we protect those who have been asked to continue to provide face-to-face support throughout lockdown. Nurseries, childcare centres and special schools are to remain open, and vulnerable children and those of key workers can continue to attend school. We need to ensure these staff are able to feel safe in their classrooms. Data from our recent poll found that 82 per cent of people (1,111 respondents across the UK) believe that teachers should receive a priority Covid-19 vaccination alongside other key frontline workers.

School and nursery staff have been at the frontline of the pandemic since last March, providing vital support to parents and educating children, but this has not been recognised. To ensure their safety, and the continuity of education for children, it is only fair that they should be classed as key workers and put at the front of the queue for the vaccine.