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Ex-teachers encouraged to return to schools amid Omicron spread

With the Omicron variant now running rampant, the effects are reverberating around the country and surprise, schools are receiving the brunt of it once again. Teachers are being exposed to the virus and are now having to take weeks off to isolate themselves, leaving students with no teachers available to them during a key part of the school year. This has led the government to create a program in which ex-teachers can now sign up to be able to get back into work and help support the staff shortage. They have obviously readied this program anticipating a serious shortage in teachers once kids are back in schools.

Partial closures of schools are incredibly harmful, whether that’s for a couple of weeks or just because those roles cannot be filled accordingly. This has put school’s under immense pressure and has left them with no alternative other than to look for retired teachers. But it shouldn’t be on them to help stabilise the already brittle foundations that our education system lies on. The lack of preparation on the part of the government and their muddled instructions and guidelines is the cause of this issue. Bringing older teachers out of retirement when they’re already high-risk is selfish and is not sustainable. Geoff Barton, general secretary of school leaders’ union ASCL has said that a campaign to recruit teachers in this way would need a huge public push, he says it’s “far too late” for this to be a solution to the matter. A former teacher left this comment under this article, “The request for retired teachers to go back into lethally unsafe workplaces to replace teachers off sick with Covid. My thoughts on that are not printable.” Obviously, very angry about the matter.

Some schools have been so badly affected by Omicron that they finished the Autumn term earlier than they would’ve liked, with kid’s being flung back into digital classrooms once again. The threat of a serious shortage by the end of January is looking more and more likely. Many headteachers are feeling the pressure and probably won’t have relaxed too much this Christmas, the thought of teacherless classrooms on their minds must be anxiety-inducing.

As we learned during the previous wave of the pandemic, teachers are not super-soldiers, they should be protected and given the support necessary to help them perform their job as best as they can. Partial school closures can be incredibly harmful and really negatively impact not just students but staff in general within the school. It’s possible because of how poorly some schools are run, that they can end up with staff shortages in every department across the school, not just teachers. That’s where soccialy can help support you.

Soccialy helps to connect your school to brilliant teachers, near or far. We are social media experts, we target teachers using our always evolving AI. We take into consideration all the aspects you want out of an applicant and make it so that receive applications from brilliant candidates suited to your role. We put those roles directly in front of them, where they spend the majority of their time, social media, in a way that is natural and unimposing. There’s nothing worse than an unwarranted job ad. Soccialy doesn’t just help in regards to teacher support, we also help advertise those hard to fill support staff roles that can be incredibly helpful during a time of uncertainty. Being able to have teaching assistants on hand is important during periods like this. Then you won’t have to ask retired teachers to fling themselves into harm’s way.