ASCL responds to JCVI decision on Covid jabs for 12 to 15-year-olds

03/09/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the decision of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) not to recommend Covid vaccines in general for children aged between 12 and 15. 
 
Commenting on the decision of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) not to recommend Covid vaccines in general for children aged between 12 and 15, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“We are pleased that coronavirus vaccinations will be offered to more children with health vulnerabilities and welcome the extra reassurance this will give to these young people and their families.
 
“However, we are disappointed that the JCVI has decided against recommending Covid vaccinations in general to children aged between 12 and 15. We understand that this decision has been made after making an assessment of the balance of risks and with all the available evidence, and we respect that decision.
 
“Nevertheless, the upshot is that this would make it more difficult during the autumn term and beyond to guard against educational disruption caused by transmission of the virus. We are therefore pleased that the door appears to have been left at least partially open as the government looks at wider issues including disruption to schools. The trouble is that time is pressing, the autumn term is upon us and we really do need a decision.
 
“In the meantime, it is now even more important that the government does everything possible to provide support to schools and colleges to manage this situation and keep children in class.
 
“As it stands, the government has removed the main safeguards that were in place last academic year, and we would repeat our warning that it must keep the situation under close review and be ready to act if there is a significant increase in cases.
 
“We simply cannot have another term in which there is major educational disruption. It is not fair on pupils and their families or on the schools and colleges which are trying so hard to support them.”