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Re-opening Schools?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Jamvic, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    Should schools reopen after the Easter period?

    Countries like the UK that have closed schools to help stop the spread of coronavirus should ask hard questions about whether this is now the right policy, says one team of scientists.

    The University College London team says keeping pupils off has little impact, even with other lockdown measures. Dr Samantha Brooks, from King's College London and team member of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emergency Preparedness & Response, said: "The finding that school closures have at best only a small impact on the spread of Covid-19 is of great significance, especially linked with the sensible suggestions for how a gradual return to normal schooling could be implemented."

    Prof Robert Dingwall, professor of sociology at Nottingham Trent University, said: "This is an important study that confirms what many of us suspected, namely that the public health benefits of school closures were not proportionate to the social and economic costs imposed on children and their families.

    But a scientist whose work has informed the UK strategy insists school closures play an important role. The government has said it will review its coronavirus policies after Easter.


    sbkrobson likes this.
  2. nixmith

    nixmith Established commenter

    And what about school staff (of all designations) especially the older ones ?

    Compare and contrast Matt Hancock (aged 41) with Boris Johnson (aged 55).....

    The scary thing is, the government have form for listening to studies such as this, look at the u-turn made on 'herd-immunity' several weeks ago following a Cambridge University report.
    BetterNow, JL48, Kandahar and 8 others like this.
  3. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    I don’t think they should even consider it yet. How would social distancing work at the school gate and throughout the school day? If social distancing remains important at that time then schools should remain closed.
  4. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Madness to even think about opening schools.

    Think of all of the journeys, the close physical contact and the teachers without PPE.

    Do not even think about opening schools till August and then think very hard about it.
    Spoofer4114, Jamvic, knitone and 3 others like this.
  5. bella2891

    bella2891 New commenter

    Utter nonsense, how on earth can schools reopen when social distancing is in place!? Parents would not even send their children in there would be hardly and children to teach so more babysitting for us and staff put at risk.
  6. eleanorms

    eleanorms Occasional commenter

    It's all about which voice was heard. In Sweden, lock down was minimal. Some reports say they are down their deaths by only recording is Covid19 if there were no other factors in order to justify decision. No idea if that's true. In UK, biggest spokesperson for lockdown was Professor Furguson. So any report about opening schools or anything else is automatically boshed by him. But the economic arguments grown stronger than every day, and there will come a time when his voice grows less influential. Think we will reopen gradually from May, beginning with Years 10, 12 and 6. Not saying this is the right decision, just what I think will happen.
    sabrinakat and Jamvic like this.
  7. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I agree eleanorms - I think we'll be back late May/early June
  8. bella2891

    bella2891 New commenter

    The NEU should step in as the National day nursery associations have done for their staff chief executive’s words:
    Ms Tanuku has said staff needed greater protection from the virus: "Nursery practitioners are putting their lives on the line when they turn up to work, as it's near impossible to distance themselves from young children.

    "We would like some protective equipment to be made available and acknowledgement of their dedication and commitment to these children at this difficult time."
    School unions need to be saying the same thing...
    Jamvic and agathamorse like this.
  9. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    If schools are re-opened before the general easing of lock down and social distancing, I'd suggest any teacher over 50/55 (and esp. any male teachers of that age), anyone with health conditions such as asthma, any smoker/ex-smoker and anyone who shares a house with anyone in the above groups, thinks long and hard before going back to work.
  10. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    It is worth noting, though, that as the death rate in Sweden is starting to escalate above the rates of neighbouring Norway, Finland and Denmark, and now that they have had to open a field hospital do cope with rising infection rates in Stockholm, more stringent measures are being introduced. High schools have closed and gatherings of more than 50 people are banned. Further restrictions are expected.

    That wouldn't surprise me, either. Although the UK government are keen to avoid giving dates, it does look as if the peak here will be on or close to Easter Sunday, as some predicted. Hopefully, it will be a lower peak than that originally feared. That could then see the initial lifting of restrictions starting in late May.
    JL48, Jamvic and Kandahar like this.
  11. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    'Chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty also explained that schools were "not dangerous" for children during the pandemic, but that the decision to close them would slow the rise of infections...'

    Oh. I was somehow expecting the bit in that sentence after "but..." to say "school staff were very much at risk and protecting them was a key concern..."

    I'm very worried that the government will listen to this advice and put the economy before the lives of school staff. They don't have a great track record on respect for the profession (remember Gove?), and a good clear-out of the older, more expensive, stick-in-the-mud, nearly-at-pension-age teachers might even seem a small and attractive price to pay.
  12. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    Posted on the other thread, ccopied here

    School closures can only be (intelligently) assessed as part of a package of social distancing measures.

    Not much use on their own, but essential if social distancing is to be of any use. Anyone who thinks schools can run and respect social distancing has little idea of what schools are really like.
    peter12171, Jamvic, steely1 and 6 others like this.
  13. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I didn’t notice this thread and just commented on the how are you coping thread. It’s complete madness and shows total disregard for all the adults and parents. It’s given me a huge wobble this morning. September at the earliest, please. Social distancing is impossible in normal school circumstances.
  14. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    Jamvic, Sally006, Kandahar and 5 others like this.
  15. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    What gets me is that the article states that the normal functioning of schools has been scientifically proven to contribute to 3-4% of the spread.
    Therefore the science states that the inconvenience of school closures measures against the impact on viral spread is disproportionate.
    This "science" recalls our government's initial response to the virus arriving in the UK. They quite unashamedly said that is would be acceptable to work to prevent the number of deaths rising unchecked. It would be acceptable to "aim for" x deaths instead of y deaths.
    Nobody said "no" deaths.
    Nobody has said that functioning schools absolutely do not contribute to the spread.
    This is the line-
    Schools being responsible for only 3-4% of the spread of virus? Bargain!

    The dispensing of intrinsic value of actual human life by our government and governments across the world will be one stand out feature of this crisis in history. I wont go on about that here and now though.

    My fear is that the story comes on the back of a handful of schools being threatened with action for wrongful closure-I cannot find the article. But it was the day before yesterday.
    The timing of this latest supposed science worries me. Is that the best response? OK then, we'll open them!
  16. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Jamvic, Lara mfl 05 and Grandsire like this.
  17. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Occasional commenter

    Again, school staff are expendable. So often no mention is made of the risk to adults in re-opening schools.
    Ro13, Jamvic, Sally006 and 4 others like this.
  18. WB

    WB Senior commenter

    As long as social distancing and good hygiene is vital then schools are problematic places.

    I'd like one of these scientists to spend some time in a year 3 classroom and watch kids sneeze into both hands then immediately rummage in tray of colouring pencils that 29 other kids will have their hands in in the next 20 minutes.

    Then go out into the playground at playtime and ask 400 7-11 year-olds to stay 2m apart. They can then go into the toilets and see how they are left.

    Finally after watching all that I want them to stand at the school gate and watch these year 3 kids walk home hand-in-hand with granddad.
    Spoofer4114, Piscean1, Ro13 and 12 others like this.
  19. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Senior commenter

    As mentioned on another thread, we had 24 washbasins to cater for 1,760 students and their hand washing.
    This scientist is likely to have researched the impact of school closure by having to look after her/his own children for weeks. I will not return to school (physically) until I see it's safe. These are the same " authorities" who told us a mtter of moths ago that we would be fine.
    Ro13, Jamvic, Sally006 and 3 others like this.
  20. Ro13

    Ro13 Occasional commenter

    My school, a small independent, was open for the children of keyworkers right up to 3rd April. We ended up with only two teachers, out of the 16, in school! I was teaching juniors, the other teacher infants. My head was in running the school, she finally decided to close because it was a concern to her that two of us, I'm 57 the other teacher 58, were covering every day as she could not put us on a rota.

    It was a complete nightmare trying to keep the children apart, as their natural instinct is to hug, run around playing, close contact, games with each other! I am really anxious as to how, if schools go back early, we keep them all apart and ourselves safe when we have a full school?

    A few of us will now be teaching, an almost full timetable, from home. The rest of the school has been put on furlough. The problem with going back in May/June is that my head has promised parents she will extend the summer term by two weeks! Will any other schools be doing this?

    I, for one, will need my summer holiday as I will still be teaching from home. I will want to spend time with my son, daughter, my parents, siblings as I live alone. I feel I'd need the time to go, hug, relax & just be with family & to put my mental wellness first.

    I feel September will be the best option because we will, hopefully, be over the worst and the scientist and government will be able to see how other countries have coped in the aftermath.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020

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