UK Covid live news: school leaders 'disappointed' that teachers will not be prioritised in new vaccination wave






































School leaders are not happy with the JCVI decision not to target teachers and other school staff in the next wave of vaccinations in England.

Geoff Barton, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said his members were “disappointed” by the news:


The government needs to make a policy decision on this matter having insisted that education is a national priority and having announced a ‘big bang’ return to the classroom in England. It must now back that up by providing a clear direction that education staff will be prioritised in the next phase of the programme.

This is important not only in reassuring staff who it expects to work in busy and crowded environments, but also in terms of minimising disruption to education caused by staff absence as a result of Covid.

The announcement follows the Department for Education’s admission that neither Covid tests nor mask-wearing among secondary school pupils will be compulsory when pupils return from 8 March.

And it follows the most recent ONS data showing that teachers were at greater risk of testing positive for Covid than most other occupations, contrary to assurances from the government.



















Manchester Pride will be going ahead with an in-person event this year, its organisers have confirmed.

The annual LGBT+ festival, which is held over the August bank holiday and involves a concert and a parade through the streets of Manchester, is one of the biggest Pride events in the UK.

The charity behind Manchester Pride said there are plans to switch to a socially-distanced and digital back-up event if an in-person festival is not possible.

Mark Fletcher, chief executive of Manchester Pride, said:


Our team has been working incredibly hard behind the scenes on a range of plans for this celebration of LGBTQ+ life in Greater Manchester.

We can’t predict the future and we know that we could find ourselves in a situation in the coming months where we are unable to deliver an in-person festival.

Should this be the case, we are prepared and we will revert to our secondary plans that would see us host an exciting, innovative celebration incorporating socially distanced events and digital elements.

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People aged 40-49 top next group for vaccines but teachers and police will not be prioritised

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There are plenty of times when the government acts unlawfully, the justice secretary has admitted, but “getting something wrong is not the same as deliberately flouting the law”.

What matters, said Robert Buckland, is that the government doesn’t break the same law twice.

Last week, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, was found by a high court judge to have acted unlawfully by failing to publish multibillion-pound Covid-19 government contracts within the 30-day period required by law.

The judge, Mr Justice Chamberlain, ruled the failure to do so breached the “vital public function” of transparency over how “vast quantities” of taxpayers’ money was spent.

But Buckland has now said that the key thing is that Hancock got something wrong rather than deliberately breaching the law.

Read the full story here:










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The rights of children and vulnerable people in police custody are being put at risk during the pandemic by problems with the remote provision of legal advice, according to a report by charities in England and Wales.

While suspects here normally have a right to a lawyer being present during police interviews, research shows that legal support was provided remotely to children and vulnerable adults in more than half of 4,700 police station interviews during a snapshot period last year.

Charities say the potential for miscarriages of justices is being stored up as a result of issues such as confusion among interviewees who sometimes felt pressured to agree to getting advice remotely. They say consent was sometimes ignored or not sought.

Some solicitors refused to attend in person even though the child or mentally vulnerable client was accused of a serious crime such as attempted murder or rape.

The findings come in a report by three charities – Fair Trials, Transform Justice and the National Appropriate Adult Network – which are calling for an end to remote legal assistance in police custody. (Read on )










Nearly 95% of adults happy to get Covid jab

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Keeping windows open more effective than asking children to wear masks, scientist says

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Justice secretary refuses to rule out prospect of prisoners and staff being vaccinated en masse

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