Covid

Minister condemns ‘intimidation’ of schools after vaccination death threat warning

Vaccines minister says schools should 'not be afraid to speak to the police'

Vaccines minister says schools should 'not be afraid to speak to the police'

A minister has condemned “threats and intimidation” against school staff, amid reports that leaders have received legal and even death threats over vaccinations of teenagers.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup told a Westminster Hall debate that schools should “not be afraid to speak to the police” if they faced intimidation over the vaccination of 12 to 15-year-olds, which began this week.

Schools Week revealed earlier this month how schools have been threatened with legal action, and told they could face fines of up to £20 million or “life imprisonment” by campaign groups opposing on-site jabs for pupils.

And today, shadow health minister Liz Kendall told the Westminster Hall debate of “deeply concerning and troubling incidents” in her Leicester West constituency.

“I am appalled that some of our headteachers have received threats via letters and on social media including threats of legal action and even death threats accusing the heads of supposedly promoting illegal medical experimentation on children.

“This is disgraceful and completely unacceptable.”

Guidance states schools don’t have legal accountability

UK Health Security Agency guidance on the vaccination programme is clear that “legal accountability for offering Covid-19 vaccines to children and young people sits with the SAIS and not with the school”.

Kendall said schools were “having a tough enough time as it is, without being bullied too”, and urged Throup to make it “clear vaccination will be voluntary” and that schools are just “the venue for the vaccination”.

“And I hope she will say what the government will do to try and deal with these threats and intimidation which I fear are growing.”

Throup said she “absolutely condemn[ed] the threats and intimidation to headteachers, school staff and anybody who enters school premises”.

“I feel that this is a very big issue and my advice is that headteachers who have received such intimidation should very rapidly contact the School Age Immunisation Service who are well versed in addressing this issue, and not be afraid to speak to the police and the local authority as well.

“I would like to reassure her that this issue is extremely high on my priority list, which as you can imagine will be getting longer.”



More from this theme

Covid

Face masks in classrooms ditched from tomorrow

Rules on coverings in communal areas will end on Thursday next week

Freddie Whittaker
Covid

Schools fear closures amid Covid testing kit delays

8% of schools reported having staff unable to attend due to a lack of Covid tests

James Carr
Covid

Edenred out as DfE sets up school meal voucher plan B

Edtech firm win 'contingency scheme' contract

Samantha Booth
Covid

State schools in deprived areas hit hardest by staff absence

Schools report using non-teaching staff to cover lessons and almost one in 10 combine classes as Omicron disruption continues

Freddie Whittaker
Covid

DfE to pay 100% of breakfast clubs costs until August in partial U-turn

Government delays plan to make schools pay 25% of breakfast costs and expands eligibility 'in light of Covid'

Freddie Whittaker
Covid

DfE says over 550 ex-teachers answered Covid call to arms

But no figures on how many have actually rejoined classrooms missing tens of thousands of teachers

Freddie Whittaker

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *