“The education workforce has been put in a precarious position under Alert Level 3 conditions, and should be prioritised for vaccination,” according to ACT Education spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“Under the original Alert Level 3 conditions, only those who were deemed essential workers could send kids to school. With the latest lockdown, schools were practically required to accept children of any families who went to school.

“I believe educators are happy to play their part in New Zealand’s COVID-19 response, but it does raise a question about vaccination priority, because educators under Alert Level 3 are in a difficult position.

“Anyone who has taught knows that, particularly in the case of lower year levels, social distancing is practically impossible to enforce. PPE use is not much better, so what protection do teachers have when they are forced to keep schools open under Alert Level 3?

“I hope that the Government’s vaccine roll out considers the precarious position that teachers have been put in by the Alert Level system when setting priorities for vaccination.”