Such arrangements should be known now rather than waiting for a last-minute hiatus as lessons resume in September. Having already seen their education badly disrupted by Covid, and the dismal failure of Ministers to secure adequate catch-up funds, students, and their teachers, have every right to expect better from Boris Johnson’s government.
And the serial failure of Gavin Williamson to communicate with the public – he continues, for example, to reject all Channel 4 News interview requests – extends to the Covid vaccine debate and growing mistrust fuelled by double standards that are clear to everyone except the Education Secretary.
In short, university students can go to the pubs – and other crowded venues – irrespective of their vaccine status. Now Ministers are suggesting that these self-same young people might be permitted to attend lectures only if they have been double jabbed – a disingenuous approach that actually risks disenfranchising a generation of students still further.
Rather than these veiled threats, the Government should be setting out the facts comprehensively and trusting young adults to make the correct, and responsible, decision. Yet this also requires a Minister who can engage with students – a skill-set that is far beyond Mr Williamson’s very limited capabilities.