'Gavin Williamson is dunce of our schools at a time when role is most important'

When the coronavirus has disrupted the schooling of a generation of children the role of the Education Secretary has rarely been so important.

Yet we have been lumbered in the form of Gavin Williamson with arguably the most incompetent person to have filled that post.

Parents are crying out for clarity on how schools will reopen after the long lockdown.

They were led to believe that all pupils in England would be back in class on March 8.

It has now emerged that secondary schoolchildren will only start to return from that date and it will be dependent, in part, on the success of a new testing programme.

Despite having weeks to plan for this circumstance, it is still unclear how the mass testing regime will work in practice.

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Gavin Williamson today

Nor is the money promised to help children catch up with lost learning nearly sufficient.

Even with additional funding only a quarter of 1.3million children on free school meals will be placed on the national tutoring programme.

At a time when we need someone with heft to repair the damage done to our children we have been left with the lightest of lightweights.

Care with jab

It is deeply worrying a third of care home staff have turned down a Covid ­vaccination.

After so many people have died from ­coronavirus everything should be done to protect vulnerable and elderly residents.

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Jo Whiley and Sister Frances

That is harder to achieve if those looking after them are reluctant to have the jab.

In some cases it is a question of misunderstanding with those who have had Covid wrongly believing they may be immune.

But that does not explain why so many other members of staff are not being vaccinated.

The Government must do more to reach out to workers and explain why the jab is safe and, by having it, they can save the lives of others.


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