Wrekin College backs plans for private schools to be used as vaccination centres

A Shropshire school has today backed plans for private schools to be used as vaccination centres amid efforts to get schools open again as soon as possible.

Wrekin College headteacher Tim Firth
Wrekin College headteacher Tim Firth

Wrekin College headteacher Tim Firth said today they had also offered to join the national efforts to vaccinate vulnerable groups of people if needed as he supported a proposal to vaccinate teachers over February half-term using schools as hubs.

The plan has yet to get approval from NHS and government officials but there are growing calls for teachers to be vaccinated to help get children back in the classroom.

This scheme has been drawn up by two academy chains, a private school group, and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), which represents schools including Eton and Harrow.

"We are ready to help the vulnerable in any way we can during this pandemic and have offered facilities here at Wrekin College," said Mr Firth.

Shrewsbury School and Oswestry School have at this point been identified as sites to take part should the scheme to vaccinate teachers get the go-ahead with Wrekin College available to offer any assistance that might be needed.

"We need to get children back into school as soon as we can and therefore it is right that we look to support measures aimed at doing that in any way that we can," Mr Firth added.

"While our online learning scheme has proved highly successful with both parents and students we know it is far from ideal and that children's mental wellbeing is better served by having them in school.

"But of course, any efforts to reopen school must have safety as a priority so it is encouraging that schemes such as this are being put forward.

"Our lateral flow testing centre is proving very effective in keeping those key worker children and boarders we have in school at the moment as safe as possible and in school.

"We very much want to do our bit to help our local community to return to normal as fast as possible, but using our facilities to vaccinate the elderly or poorly would be a privilege."

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