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How are schools preparing to re-open in September? - BBC Newsnight

Discussion in 'News' started by AndrewvanZyl, Aug 26, 2020.

  1. AndrewvanZyl

    AndrewvanZyl Established commenter



    Boris Johnson has said the risk of contracting coronavirus at schools across the UK was ‘very small’. As schools re-open across the country, what's the safety plan for students and staff? Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it is "vitally important" children go back to school, with the life chances of a generation at stake. As the autumn term began in Northern Ireland, the prime minister said the risk of contracting coronavirus at schools across the UK was "very small" and said missing any more school was "far more damaging" for children. Nicola Sturgeon today announced the use of face coverings in corridors and communal areas of secondary schools is set to be introduced in Scotland. Head teachers in England have now complained about a lack of clarity over the rules on whether teachers or pupils can wear face masks in schools and want to know if they can override the official guidance. So what is the plan to ensure the safety of students in staff in schools as they start to re-open? And how will schools deal with potential outbreaks of Covid-19?
     
    Andy13uk and PeterQuint like this.
  2. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Hand sanitiser, faith and hope in Boris being right innit.
     
  3. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    The phrase I hear constantly repeated, and it happened twice in that piece, is ‘there is little evidence that the virus spreads in schools’.

    How could there be? They’ve been closed. Many similar nations’ schools have been closed. Where they’ve been open its almost always been on different terms to how U.K. schools are returning.
     
  4. Newidentity

    Newidentity Occasional commenter

    With their fingers crossed, hoping that it will be some other school that proves the point that it's not safe to open...
     
  5. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Everyone has checked their inservice death benefits yes?
    I mean, as teachers, we can't complain, after all, those benefits are really very good compared to those of employees elsewhere. .
     
    PeterQuint, Sally006 and Newidentity like this.
  6. Newidentity

    Newidentity Occasional commenter

    My partner has assured me that DIS benefits would not make up for losing me...
     
    PeterQuint, Sally006 and DaisysLot like this.
  7. nervousned

    nervousned Lead commenter

    Those benefits are much worse than what my current death in service benefits are.
     
  8. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    I'm sure that if I caught and died of Covid directly through school, I would expect my union to pursue my employer for causing my death through lack of health and safety.
     
    Sally006 likes this.
  9. andywhizz1

    andywhizz1 New commenter


    Unfortunately I doubt it based on the very little they have achieved or done for teachers in the 25 years I have been a member...... Seriously considering leaving the union for the first time. They seemed incapable of acting on the pensions change and equally unable to protect teachers from the nightmare ahead.
     
    DaisysLot likes this.
  10. ChrisH77

    ChrisH77 New commenter

    Alternatively: the risk to school staff really is low enough to... if not ignore, then at least set aside to focus on getting our students back into the routine of learning.

    Best approach would seem to be to go with whatever the SLT has in place, calmly reassure whoever has doubts, and get on with the task of teaching.

    In short: Stay calm and carry on.
     
  11. andywhizz1

    andywhizz1 New commenter

    What evidence do we have that the risk is so minor it should be something we can ignore or set aside. Schools that have reopened in Berlin and other places have had to close rapidly due to outbreaks.

    As someone who has dedicated decades to students I am not prone to shirking responsibility. The government has had the whole summer to plan for reopening of schools and they have left it up to individual schools to work out what to do with limited and ambiguous guidance and no actual support.

    I have relatives who are vulnerable. Should I be putting my faith in SLT and Boris to ensure that I don't pass on covid to them.

    Let Teachers Be Martyrs was the headline in the Daily Mail not so long ago. Reminds me of historical parallels to the soldiers in WWI who just kept calm and got on with it. This situation is real and those who have lost relatives will testify to this. Not a time for British stiff upper lip.
     
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  12. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Like all the people who have died? Like the railway worker who died from being spat on-once? Like a previously fit and active friend of mine, who caught it in March and is still really weak? Like another friend who spent her birthday in the ITU-while her family was warned she might not survive? If you really are a teacher, surely you can understand the points made by others-that there isn't evidence that school reopening is safe, because they've not been fully open since March?
    Even the students can understand this, and are worried about killing their parents! Many say they can learn better at home, where it's safe. It's also very dangerous for vulnerable people-and many colleagues, students and their families might come into that category. So 'reassuring' anyone that schools are safe, while they can't even visit their parents, or hold a wedding, or go on a bus without a mask, is an insult to though left dead, or maimed by the virus.
     
  13. weesteve

    weesteve New commenter

    Ok, so as a male, in his mid 50s with high blood pressure should I be concerned about being in a small room with 32 seven and eight year olds and two teaching assistants for fives hours a day with not one of us wearing any form of PPE, or not?

    After five months of warnings about the infectiousness of Covid 19 it’s difficult to look forward to “keeping calm and carrying on” the week after next...
     
  14. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    We started here in Bangkok about three weeks ago. We have plenty of hand sanitiser, directional arrows everywhere, social distancing and everyone is wearing a mask. I'll let you know how it goes in a few weeks!

    Perce
     
  15. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    I totally agree that children need to return to school. I'm prepared to accept that they are at low risk of being harmed by this virus. I'm angry that teachers are mentioned as an after-thought and I'm also aware that SLT do not teach any where near the amount of hours that Averageteacher does.
     
    PeterQuint, Sally006, install and 3 others like this.
  16. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    The government is its own worst enemy here. They've completely failed to get the country behind them and just seem to shout "teachers and their unions don't want to educate your children". When you look at systems that have already reopened successfully it hasn't been accomplished by turning the people you need to make it successful into public enemies.
     
  17. ChrisH77

    ChrisH77 New commenter

    Ok, I’m not a teacher, I’m a cover supervisor, who will have a job to do when schools go back. The points others are making seem to me a strange and irrelevant arms-race to out-precaution everyone else, fuelled by cherry-picked examples of the worst that could happen.

    Meanwhile, all the most robust whole-population statistics show a continuous 4-month decline in UK hospital/ICU admissions and death. In the scheme of things, even in April the Coronavirus was never the greatest risk faced by anyone, and is currently about equal to the risk of septicaemia.

    We don’t reconfigure an entire education system for that. Why Covid?

    Cut the hysteria and get to work. That’s what I say. Don’t expect anyone to agree on here.
     
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    I agree. Yet again some CEOs / HTs and some SLT are not getting stuck in with teaching. Even when smaller classes would help. Some seem to be happy at a distance, at a safe watching point, and in a place where they do not want to be disturbed.
     
  19. Sally006

    Sally006 Lead commenter

    Will those of us voicing our concerns be sent white feathers?
     
  20. Sally006

    Sally006 Lead commenter

    “Cut the hysteria and get to work” - White feather number one.
     
    jellycowfish and Newidentity like this.

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