Yet the low-key approach also suggests that the Government is not showing sufficient urgency prior to the new academic year.
If disruption to education – and the rest of the economy – is to be kept to a minimum, then it is imperative that teenagers are persuaded to be vaccinated. Yet, while Britain has led the world this year with its rollout programme, there is a nagging sense that progress is slowing when it comes to younger age groups.
For, while the Department of Health and Social Care chooses the final weeks of the school summer holidays to post letters, Ireland, by way of comparison, is now looking to offer vaccines to adolescents aged 12 to 15 years. Its view is that the prevalence of Covid amongst younger people needs to be countered after so much schooling was disrupted over the past 18 months – an enlightened approach when set against the Department for Education’s record here.
Its latest decree is to encourage schools to conduct lessons and assemblies outdoors if there’s a risk of Covid – a pronouncement that takes no account of an impending winter or other practicalities.
And the fact that teachers are no longer surprised by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson’s failures of leadership – the issue here, in fact, is the need to better ventilate classrooms – speaks volumes about the extent to which this Government have allowed young people to become the pandemic’s forgotten victims.