Today I got to question the new Education Secretary, Nadhim Xahawi.
Back in July when he was vaccine minister I asked him to ensure adolescents were offered the vaccine over the summer as it was the only way to stabilise schools and protect the wellbeing of students and teachers.
Back then he told me that children would be protected by “a wall of vaccinated adults”.
Well today there are over 200,000 students off school and it’s a wall of antivac protestors that greets too many students, a far cry from the protection he predicted.
I worked really hard to develop policy with Keir Starmer to protect our students from intimidatory and behaviour and harassment. Sadly it’s been seen at many schools in our own city. Labour is calling for an exclusion zone around schools for the duration of any vaccine programme to keep kids safe from bullying.
As you can see, I didn’t get a straight answer. But at least I’m doing my best to come up with solutions to the challenges faced by schools and students…I wish ministers did too!