A school in Middlesex has cancelled a proposed day of remote learning for its pupils after their vaccinations, following criticism by a senior MP.
Teddington School had written to parents earlier this week asking students to “work remotely from home” this Friday.
“This allows for any students that are not feeling 100% to work from home and for all new Year 7 students and those new to the school in other years to experience remote lessons for the first time,” the school said.
But the school has now told Schools Week that it is cancelling its remote learning offer for tomorrow and will be “open as normal”. A letter to families is due to go out “shortly”.
It comes after the move was questioned by education committee chair Robert Halfon yesterday. Government medics had said vaccines for teenagers would help prevent further disruption to education.
“If that’s going to happen across the country, or in a lot of schools, that’s going to significantly impact on one of the reasons you’re saying the vaccinations need to happen in the first place,” Halfon said.
Professor Keith Willett, from NHS England, told the committee that sending pupils home for a day after receiving their vaccine was “not a part of the policy, or that we have laid out with the School Age Immunisation Services.
“Schools have had extensive communication and that has not been part of any of those communications.”
But he added that “obviously the headteachers in schools have run those schools and can make decisions”.
Halfon also raised the case during an urgent question in the commons earlier today.
He asked minister Alex Burghart to “make sure that schools follow Government guidance to the letter and do not send children home”.
Burghart replied that it was “extremely important that schools follow departmental guidance”.
“I am sure that my officials will have heard the example that my right hon. Friend has just given. The message is clear: the best place for children is in schools and there are very clear criteria that tell us when children should be there.”