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School non-closures and Boris Johnson

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

  1. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    I've been following this (and some parallel threads) for a while.
    My thoughts:
    1. None of the posters here is an expert virologist or epidemiologist. We are collectively making claims and asking questions which are based on limited knowledge.
    2. It looks as if most posters on here are classroom teachers, not managers/leaders, and therefore also have less experience and knowledge of whole-school management than we might wish.
    3. We are therefore, whether we like it or not, in the hands of experts. The evidence is that the government is following expert advice, and of course that advice will include expertise beyond epidemiology - it will include legal advice, psychological advice, advice on keeping supplies running and so on.
    4. This is where I drift into areas of my ignorance - I judge that, just as with other viral infections like colds and flu, in the end just about everyone will be exposed to infection. So hoping to find ways of avoiding infection is in the end a fool's errand; hoping to delay it is sensible. This buys time for vaccine development; it buys time for evidence-based treatment; it buys time for hed immunity to develop. These in turn will reduce transmission rates, and once these fall below unity, the disease will die out.
    PeterQuint, ajrowing and install like this.
  2. rachel555

    rachel555 New commenter

    Wading in here (and I'm a bit of an old newbie, so be gentle!):

    Would there be any point in allowing Heads to make attendance optional, so that parents in key jobs didn't have to worry about child-care? It would reduce the total school population, so could help slow the spread of the virus, which fits the delay strategy. It would also take the pressure of staffing levels once teachers start succumbing in large numbers.
    MrsKK likes this.
  3. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    Like everyone one here we are reading/listening to information and speculating. The scientists are speculating. The government response is based on how “flu” has behaved historically and whilst I accept the similarity between Corvid 19 and flu, those same experts have been at pains to explain it is not the same as flu at all and far more serious. This is new. There is so much that is unknown.

    None of us are experts though some may, through their personal contacts, be in touch with some. It is always useful, therefore to allow them to share what they have learned. In fact that is the purpose of this platform is it not? We will disagree about interpretation and can do so in a civilised way. No one really has “facts”. However, as this virus behaves in other countries, who are further along in the spread of the disease, we can learn from their experience.

    it is only natural to assume most posters are classroom teachers not heads. I truly pity our head teachers at this time who are being bombarded with information and concerns from staff and parents continually. We need to support and rally round as much as we can.

    I have often thought back to WW2 and what fear the adults must have had at that time, something they largely shielded their children from. I now have a sense of what that was like. Go about your daily business in school as if there was nothing to worry about. Inside, that is not how we feel, as I’m sure was the case in 1939.

    Amongst ourselves our own anxieties for friends and family will inevitably lead us to seek more knowledge to be adequately prepared. Finding solidarity with others, sharing our thoughts and fears is a form of reassurance is it not? What is wrong with that? I am amazed that it is regarded by some on here as being a scaremonger or hysteric. It isn’t. Surely, in our enlightened age we know better than to patronise, bully, point score? Just let people speak, choose to disagree or agree.
  4. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    I have wondered about that myself Rachel.I think this is what is happening in Germany according to my friend there. Schools shut this week for everyone but remain open to provide childcare for key workers. Teachers will succumb and also teachers with children will have exactly the same childcare issues as everyone else so many teachers would not be able to work in school though some will. How they decide on who I don’t know. Some sort of shift work perhaps. I will try to find out what I can from my friend. Key workers will work shifts including weekends. If they are single parents they already have to make childcare provision when they work at weekends. If they can’t I’m not sure what happens but maybe schools will have to mirror shift pattens and kids will be there with teachers at the weekend. I’ll let you know what I can find out.
    rachel555 likes this.
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    Slight problem with that approach imho. It won't slow the virus down by being off and back in whenever one personally decides . I agree that delaying the peak seems to be a Govt tactic- and that imo would need to be very measured, well planned and organised.

    The bigger crisis for running schools might be teachers getting seriously ill and there being no one to actually teach the students. Also who will do the child minding? For example, NHS staff are needed - so perversely who will look after their children?

    A better approach imho is to consider keeping exam year students in lessons. And possibly to 'extend the Easter Hols' coming up - with an option also for students to come in where there are child minding issues.
  6. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    I work in a school, my missus works in the NHS.

    If schools close, do I stay at home with my kids, or send them into a local school open for childcare for NHS workers, then go into my own school to look after someone else’s kids?
    Sally006 likes this.
  7. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    I'd say you stay at home, looking after your own children and your wife as an NHS worker goes to work.
    Sally006, Catgirl1964 and PeterQuint like this.
  8. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    You get out of here with your common sense approach.

    By the way, the missus works in an office with one other worker. The other worker has just developed an bad cold’. They’ve been sat in an office together all week.

    What will her bosses tell her on Monday, I wonder.
    Marisha and Morninglover like this.
  9. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    "Just a cold. Don't be a snowflake"?
    Marisha and JL48 like this.
  10. edenhendry

    edenhendry New commenter

    School closures.... Hmmm.

    The government is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    The pros of schools staying open (apart from potential damage to those students' achievments taking GCSEs and A-Levels etc) seem to be based around childcare.

    That's really not fair to teaching profession. We are more than childminders.

    We have families of our own and concerns about our own health but being told (not asked) to stay in work.

    There may be no evidence of child being carriers, but there's also no evidence if them NOT being carriers.

    This is a big gamble by the government. It may pay off. But at what price to education professionals and their families?

    My other half has been given choice of whether to work at home, or not. But I have no choice.

    Yes, 30% of health are professionals have children, but the number of those who have no alternative childcare with family or friends is small. If they can't find alternative, offer childcare centres for them.

    This would reduce the number of children bring put into situations where the virus can multiply and spread.

    As an asthmatic and a parent of 3, with relatives over 70 who will need my help if quarantine measures come in, it worries me what will happen if I catch the Coronavirus.

    The likelihood is I'll feel rough, and will survive, but I would much rather dodge it, rather than add to herd immunity.

    Also, the peak of epidemic in s. Korea is slowing due to isolation measures.... And this hasn't relied on 80% of population catching the virus, thus eliminating many unnecessary deaths. Herd immunity is not an 'essential' part of the battle against this virus.

    The government's actions are economical, not social.
    KLS749, Penguinitis, BW12345 and 3 others like this.
  11. Marisha

    Marisha Occasional commenter

    Schools are going to find it harder to manage. I'm in a Scottish LA and occasionally do a bit of supply. My impression is that most supply teachers round our way are retirees.

    I've already told the school I was working in that I'm not going back in at the moment - my husband is even older than I am and quite frail.
    gingerhobo48 and Yoda- like this.
  12. bugsysmum

    bugsysmum New commenter

  13. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Editing Greentrees' post and removing the excessive words reveals a greater truth...........................
    Ivanhoe and Rott Weiler like this.
  14. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide


    Are you one of them? :)
    Ivanhoe likes this.
  15. GreenTrees123

    GreenTrees123 Occasional commenter

    It is vital for a school to be able to operate that the headteacher and SMT are able to lead and take charge in these difficult circumstances. As such, for health and safety reasons, to reduce infection, myself and the rest of my management team have taken the difficult decision to work from home until further notice.

    We will still be able to drop in on classes remotely using our virtual classroom system and teachers and other staff will all be issued with a phone number that will enable them to speak to a member of SMT.

    As an SMT and as a school, we believe this approach will ensure we are able to stay open throughout this pandemic, as the resilience and contingency plans we have in place can be implemented remotely by management.
  16. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Sorry, are you saying that you and your SMT are the virus??????
  17. Ivanhoe

    Ivanhoe New commenter

    Green Trees123 Member Since: Nov 18, 2019
    Covid 19 First case: Nov 17, 2019

    Came into existence at the same time:eek:.
    steely1, Catgirl1964 and Rott Weiler like this.
  18. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I believe that this is a wind up.
  19. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Established commenter

    It must be. SMT at home whilst teachers are at school? As if!
    steely1 and Keep_hope_alive like this.
  20. hs9981

    hs9981 Lead commenter

    Not if/when it mutates.
    Sally006 likes this.

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