By Alex Glenn • 20 December 2021 • 11:22
Covid Chaos: Ex teachers have been called on by the education secretary to return to class.
The omicron coronavirus variant is spreading throughout the UK and causing increased numbers of staff absences. It is expected that this will continue into the spring term and cause some schools issues with finding sufficient numbers of supply teachers. The government has called on ex-teachers to return to the classroom to help out.
According to the government: “Those who are recently retired, or trained as a teacher and moved career, are asked to consider whether they can find even a day a week for the spring term to help protect face-to-face education.
“Targeted communications will begin to go out across a range of government, stakeholder and direct channels to encourage those eligible to apply.”
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi commented: “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% of schools have consistently been open this term, with cases of Omicron increasing we must make sure schools and colleges have the teachers available to remain open for face-to-face education.
“Anyone who thinks they can help should get the process started now on the Get Into Teaching website, and everyone should get boosted now to help reduce the amount of disruption from the virus in the new year.”
The government is also hoping that Teach First will be able to help out. The organisation has many alumni who are trained teachers but are working in other professions at the moment.
Russell Hobby, CEO of Teach First said: “Teachers have gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic, doing an inspirational job to support their pupils and communities in the face of adversity. Yet the disruption to school life and extended periods at home mean pupils’ education has inevitably suffered, particularly for those 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.”
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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