1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

School non-closures and Boris Johnson

Discussion in 'Education news' started by hbee1, Mar 13, 2020.

  1. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    You can’t have it both ways here. Are children meant to be instrumental in the “herd immunity” strategy or not? If they are then they will need to be carriers and spreaders of the virus in order for it to work. If closing schools poses a threat to grandparents delivering childcare then they must pose a risk to them and therefore have CV.. Now, quite mysteriously, you are saying there is no evidence children carry the virus and no evidence to say school staff are at risk. If so, they can’t pose a threat to their grandparents and would be quite useless in spreading it to immunise the population. The only justification left for not closing schools then is on economic one . Keeping adults in work to keep the economy going and providing childcare to healthcare workers. That appears to be all that remains of the argument as you present it. All these other countries who have closed schools have made it up have they that children get the virus and pass it on. Well? Seriously have they just made that all up? Why are you having a go at Catgirl for making a very reasonable assumption that the kids we teach may be infected already or about to be? I have had a few cases of kids presenting with both fever and coughs. Like everyone this could be routine viruses but as the days go on it is reasonable to assume it could be CV. Your view is that we wait and see, Chance it. At which point in this scenario would it be acceptable to you to close a school?
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  2. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    So at no point should a school ever be closed? When would you think it would be the right course of action? Why do you think other countries have done it? They need people in work running their services just as much so how are they managing it?
  3. install

    install Star commenter

    I sense a failed attempt at distraction tbh ...you have still not answered the original question poster. It seems you may be running away from answering it to be fair:

    'Do you have an underlying health condition and have you informed your school about it?' :rolleyes:
  4. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Isn’t it a health one.
    Keeping hospitals staffed
    Keeping social care workers available
    Keeping electricity, sewage, water, delivery, food processing, refuse collectors etc workers available
    Lack of these could have an even greater risk to health than Coronavirus itself.
    ajrowing likes this.
  5. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    One could of course self isolate if you are concerned about your health
    install likes this.
  6. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    There is always the Austrian route which has closed schools generally but kept a few open for children under the age of 14 whose parents are emergency service or health care professionals
  7. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    Why should I answer that? But actually I did in terms of my concern, not for myself but for vulnerable family members I am concerned about. You obviously didn’t take note of that part. You have not answered my questions in the post “You can’t have it both ways” where you seem to be saying school staff worrying about kids having CV is unrealistic at the same time you support the argument for keeping schools open to protect grandparents. or are you choosing to gloss over that contradiction too?
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  8. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    You are being selective in you quotation and the next sentence included providing childcare for health workers. If you are going to quote, quote the whole thing and not fragments out of context. That doesn’t make for sound argument and is unfairly misleading.
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  9. install

    install Star commenter

    I think there will be a period where many schools will be kept open here but with fewer students in them. And with teachers carrying on as far as possible in a professional capacity.
  10. install

    install Star commenter

    Mmm...I rest my case.

    And in all honesty that isn't answering the question imo poster :rolleyes:
  11. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    Can I ask you Install if you are a teacher or ever have been? You may not wish to answer that so perhaps you will understand why I don’t want to answer personal questions about my health to a complete stranger? You seem to be obsessed with my state of health for some reason. Take a moment and think about confidentiality on this forum. Isn’t that why we don’t use our real names or say where we live? You accuse my unravelling of your arguments for keeping schools open as a distraction and yet here you are wanting to know personal details about my health. Very very strange indeed.
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  12. install

    install Star commenter

    Yes is my answer . You are wrong to think I may not wish to answer it . Is this another failed distraction?

    Frankly poster, you miss the point imho. Your posts imho are scaremongering and not based on fact. Hence, the question about your actual reality and whether you have raised your 'health' with your school. I suspect not but you should do if you are genuinely concerned.

    Here is some advice.

    1 If you do have underlying health conditions and if you are unwell then let your school know.

    2 If you do not want to go into work then also let them know.

    3 If necessary consult your Union if you feel your health is seriously at risk

    4 And to help , here is some news from the bbc website:

    ' Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has said keeping schools open in England is the "best course of action", despite fears about the coronavirus.

    5 And more : ' School leaders agreed keeping schools open was the right decision.'

    6 And even more : 'Geoff Barton, head of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), which is meeting for its annual conference, said head teachers would authorise absence if parents took the decision to keep their children off lessons.'

    7 And even more : 'The government has said individual schools may be advised to shut by Public Health England if necessary.'
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
    phlogiston likes this.
  13. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    Glad you don’t feel at all unhappy going into school next week but many do. You still haven’t responded to my point about your belief that people are making up their belief that children can be infected and carriers of CV. Why do you think so many in the world are mistaken in such a belief? Is your only way of responding to that to imply you think I have a health issue I should report? Now who is being extreme? Which bits of your argument are known facts may I ask? Are children carriers and a risk to their grandparents or not. By saying school closures put them at risk - is that a fact or an assumption? It certainly assumes therefore that kids are likely to spread this infection. If that is true then they pose a threat to staff in schools. Where are you absolute known facts to support your view?
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  14. install

    install Star commenter

    Frankly poster I think you are wrong in every case. And that is because you have no actual facts. Indeed, there seems to be a tendency in your posts to hide behind an odd notion that you somehow magically know what 'many' teachers actually feel.
    But you don't in reality do you?

    I can only suggest you read through the thread again - because all the answers are here that you falsely claim are not. Naughty, naughty...;)

    However - here is a little reminder to save you the trouble of going back a few pages (again from the Channel 4 Fact page):

    'The Department of Health looked at the benefits and risks of closing schools in detail in its 2011 flu pandemic preparedness strategy.

    The strategy is largely based on evidence which is in the public domain.

    This paper modelled the potential effects of school closures on the spread of flu.

    The authors say that while historical data suggests closing schools nationwide can reduce the spread of flu “such closures have severe implications”.

    More harm than good?
    It’s important to understand that when public health experts talk about the economic costs of a measure like closing schools, they don’t just mean that it will cost the government or businesses money.

    Keeping children off school across the country will mean that many adults willhave to take time off work to look after them.

    Mass absences among the workforcecould have all kinds ofunfortunate knock-on effects for the nation’s health.

    Dr Thomas House, Reader inMathematical Statistics at the University of Manchester used the example of factories that produce vital medicines like insulin having to shut down, with devastating consequences for patients.

    Professor Jimmy Whitworth, Professor of International Public Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, talked about the possibility of food andfuel shortages.

    These are the kind of impacts thattheacademics take into account when deciding on the overall effectiveness of public health measures.

    Many experts agree that the most immediate and obvious consequence of adults taking time off for childcare would be a sharp reduction in the numberofdoctors and nurses available for work at a time when they are most needed.

    This study on school closures published in the Lancet found that around 30 per cent of people who work in the “health and social work” sector are likely to have children to look after.


    Another possible consequence of closing schools is that people might have to rely on grandparents to help with emergency childcare.

    It’s well-known that Covid-19 appears to pose a greater risk of serious illness forolder people, so this could lead to some of the most vulnerable people being exposed to infection.

    Lack of evidence
    Several experts make the point that, while there is good evidence for children helping to spread other illnesses like flu, we don’t yet know whether children mixing inschools is one of the drivers of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Professor Whitworth said: “I don’t see any convincing evidence that children are driving transmission here.”

    Prof Keith Neal, Emeritus Professor of the Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, University of Nottingham, said: “Children do not seem to get serious illness with Covid-19 and we do not yet know whatrole they play in significantly spreading the virus.”

    Will people follow official advice?
    Government advisers are clearly mindful of the need to bring in measuresthatpeople will actually follow.

    At today’s press conference, the chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said it was impractical to close schools for months to try to separate pupils because “the chances of keeping children not speaking to each other or playingwitheach other over 13 to 16 weeks is zero”.

    The chief medical officer, Professor ChrisWhitty, talked about the danger of bringing in social distancing measures too early and people becoming “fatigued” by them at the peak of the epidemic.

    The risk is that, despite best intentions at the beginning, people stop doingwhatthey need to after a while. Those managing the response to the virus want to avoid a drop in recommended behaviour at the time we need it most.

    Professor Jimmy Whitworth said:“Themeasures that are introduced are a social contract between the government and the people to control this. Thegovernment cannot do this alone.

    “We have to be supportive and we have to agree to it. If the government introduced really draconian things, people would not comply.”

    Do experts back the government?
    There is a spectrum of opinion about the government’s approach to the epidemic.

    Some epidemiologists have called for bans on large gatherings, more homeworking and the testing of every possible Covid-19 test – measures the UK government has decided not to take.

    Almost every expert agrees that thedecision on whether to close schools is a difficult one.

    Dr Mike Turner, Director of Science at the Wellcome Trust, said: “There is anincredibly difficult balancing act going on. Being too slow to react has potentiallydangerous consequences. Over-reacting is also potentially dangerous, though for different reasons.

    “And the core difficulty is that we are still learning about this virus and what is similar to things we know about othercoronaviruses and things that are different. There is limited evidence that closing schools and postponing sporting fixtures makes much material difference. Each country is making the best call they can on such issues with limited information and there is no ‘correct’ answer here.”:D
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  15. GreenTrees123

    GreenTrees123 Occasional commenter

    I think it is clear that teachers are being used to build-up herd immunity to the virus amongst the wider population by keeping schools open.

    It is obvious that many, many children and staff are going to get infected over the coming weeks and months.

    The only way that schools can then stay open will be through classes being merged, and effectively a conveyor belt system with teachers having their week in self-isolation and then being told “right, let’s have you back in the classroom on Monday morning.”

    Whether using teachers in this way is the right approach for society as a whole, I don’t know, but it is certainly going to be a challenging and stressful few months for those at the coal face in education.
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  16. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    I think he's worried that having around 7 million children on the streets will prove far more damaging than the virus itself. Whatever advice he's being given that is so different from all other countries' scientists should be shared with the rest of the world, since it clearly means we will emerge from the virus in a better place than more " backward" less knowledgeable countries like Japan, Denmark, France etc. (lol)

    Headlines today would suggest economic reasons as well for not closing schools. We wouldn't want to lose money. History is meant to teach us things. The Spanish 'flu pandemic seems a good place to start learning.
    Marisha and Sally006 like this.
  17. install

    install Star commenter

    A wind up imho :rolleyes:
  18. install

    install Star commenter

    There are certainly serious consequences if schools suddenly close for a long period of time. I think it will happen- but in a more measured way.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  19. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    The ones I’m in contact with yes. Projections as to when schools will close, in what manner, for how long, how the virus is really spreading, how long someone is infectious for - is all speculation. So why this obsession with me producing facts when you don’t. Pick your scientist - as they don’t agree either. Once again it is a case of agree with me or you are a scaremonger. All you are doing is quoting DHE advice. Seen it and read it ten times over. What is it about this need you have to patronise other posters. When I ask you to express an opinion on why you think other countries are acting differently you just bypass it and continue with your lengthy and rather boring sanctimonious rants. I presume those countries have reasons for shutting schools. I don’t consider the Danes to be a hysterical bunch hell bent on wrecking their economy. So come on then, why do you think they are doing it?
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  20. install

    install Star commenter

    Mmm...I think you can look up the facts yourself now dont you- if you doubt what has been presented to you in factual form? No one really knows poster and that is why the facts (not just hearsay or scaremongering) are so important.

    However, here is another useful piece of info for you though re Denmark (acc to the Financial Times ) :

    'Denmark has by far both the most confirmed novel coronavirus cases and the highest infection rate of the four countries who have sealed their borders, with a tally of more than 780 late on Friday. Neighbouring Germany had more than 3,100 cases, but its population is almost 15 times larger.

    Sweden’s state epidemiologist criticised Denmark’s move as “completely meaningless”. Anders Tegnell added Sweden was highly unlikely to follow suit: “I have a very hard time seeing how it could help us. There is no research that shows that. On contrary, it would hurt us economically.” ;)
    ajrowing likes this.

Share This Page