There is an ongoing crisis caused by staffing shortages in schools because of the pandemic. Due to the Omicron variant spreading so widely and quickly, many teachers across the country are having to self-isolate. There is immense pressure on the government, particularly from parents, to ensure that schools remain open for face-to-face teaching so that another school year is not lost.
On 20th December 2021, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi put out a call for retired teachers and those who have left the profession to return temporarily to fill the gap.
On 12th January, the government reported that it was estimated that 585 teachers had already signed up to return to teaching.