A COLLEGE boss said he ‘cannot wait’ for schools and colleges to reopen fully from March 8 - but has urged the government to offer vaccines for all teaching staff to ease ‘anxiety’.

All schools and colleges in England will be able to reopen next month as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, with outdoor after-school sports and activities also allowed to restart.

As part of this, secondary school and college students will be tested for Covid-19 four times over the first two weeks of term and they will then be asked to carry out the rapid coronavirus tests at home twice a week.

And secondary school pupils will be advised to wear masks in classrooms for the initial weeks after re-opening.

Nigel Evans, Principal of Weymouth College said it was important for students to be in college to take part in practical lessons, but said he hoped staff would receive both doses of the vaccine as soon as possible.

Mr Evans said: “It would be easier if the Government vaccinated all frontline staff, including teachers. If teachers received the vaccine it will take away the anxiety of catching the virus while in class; other than that we cannot wait to go back.”

Referring to students being tested, he added: “My main issue with reopening fully is we have 1,300 students - so I would need clarity on whether we will be doing testing ourselves because it’s a big logistical ask.”

The clarity around testing is also an issue for Mike Foley, headteacher of Thomas Hardye School in Queen’s Avenue, Dorchester.

He said: “The lateral flow tests are likely to be the biggest logistical challenge for schools depending on what is expected.”

The lateral flow testing is a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19, but who may still be spreading the virus.

“We thought that the return would be done as part of a planned, phased programme so the impact on the number of cases and on the R-rate could be properly monitored,” said Mr Foley.

“What we don’t want to see is any more closures, particularly where they occur at the last-minute and without due warning. We’d like clarification on centre-assessed grades as soon as possible so we can advise youngsters in Years 11 and 13 what to expect.

“In the long term, we need support and resources to help young people to catch-up on their missed education.”