The pandemic has disrupted the studies of students up and down the country. It has threatened to exacerbate inequalities particularly for the most disadvantaged students for whom home studies have been challenged by a lack of equipment and technology and in certain cases even the basics of food.
The disruption has presented challenges to parents and guardians who have found themselves with unforeseen childcare responsibilities whilst trying to work and with the additional pressure of home schooling.
Responsible businesses have responded by supporting parents and carers with more flexible working, donating IT equipment to schools and trusts so that disadvantaged students don't get left behind as well as providing volunteers to act as online mentors, coaches and tutors.
Whilst this has all been important and laudable, children need to be in schools, in safe environments that are dedicated to learning, socialising with other students and being taught by teachers trained in the profession.
The further roll-out of the vaccination programme will undoubtedly be largely welcomed by teachers and families so that further disruption, school absence and the challenges of remote learning can truly be minimised.
Responsible businesses can then better look forward to the provision of work experience, important in preparing students for the world of work, informing academic and career decisions and helping to bring studies into a real-life context.
More than 800 secondary schools in England will be visited by health teams from Monday to offer the coronavirus vaccine to children aged 12 to 15.