Teachers 'unconvinced' by school reopening evidence

Scientific advice has failed to reassure teachers that it is safe to open schools on 1 June.

5/22/2020 9:30:00 PM

Teachers' unions 'unconvinced' safe to open schools after evidence from government's scientific advisers

Scientific advice has failed to reassure teachers that it is safe to open schools on 1 June.

Media playback is unsupported on your deviceMedia captionCan children catch and spread coronavirus?"I think we need to be respectful of each others' decisions when regarding the health and safety of their families," she said."There are people who need their children to go back to school - for work or mental health issues, free school meals or whatever."

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But for other parents, she says the return to school might be too"anxiety inducing" and it might be better for them to keep their children at home.Mary Bousted, co-leader of the National Education Union, said there was still only"weak evidence" on safety.

"We are surprised that the wider opening of schools proposed by Boris Johnson has not been modelled by SAGE."This points to a cavalier attitude towards the nation's children," said Dr Bousted.Image copyrightGetty ImagesInstead, seven other scenarios were modelled, with the DfE's preferred option being a combination of two options.

In its evidence, the scientific advisory group said the role of children in the transmission of Covid-19 was uncertain - and it"cannot be clear" the extent to which schools could be reopened without increasing the virus.It said the risk to pupils of going back to school was"very, very small, but it is not zero".

Speaking at the Downing Street briefing, Sir Patrick Vallance, chief scientific adviser, would not be drawn on the decision on when schools should be reopened, saying that was for the government.But he said:"The lower we get the number of new infections each week, the greater the chance of being able to do things.

"The more effective systems like test, trace and contain are, the more room you have to make other changes - the more we can modify environments to be useful to keep appropriate social distancing."'Can't take that risk,' says dad

In Leeds, Daniel Smith, father of three, was not persuaded about the return of his six year old son."I understand where they're coming from but I generally can't take that risk, I don't want it spreading further than it has to be spread so it's safer for my own child and other children if I keep him off."

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Bonnie Baker, another parent at Parklands primary school in Leeds, said:"Year 10s I think need to go back but I think the primary school are too young to get them not to interact."The school's head teacher, Chris Dyson, said he was keen to return, but many parents seem reluctant.

"In Year 6, out of 46 parents we had nine who were willing to send their children back into school. In Year 1, we only had one out of 60 parents who were willing to send their children in and in Reception we had nobody."The evidence published by the SAGE committee suggested that children were less likely to be severely ill from coronavirus, but there was less clear-cut evidence on how likely they were to be infected or spread the virus.

In scenarios for opening schools, the committee found opening nurseries and reception classes would be less likely to increase the spread of the virus than primary schools - but opening secondary schools could have a bigger impact than both.The advice says strategies such as pupils coming in on alternate weeks could be"good ways to stop extensive transmission chains in school".

However, the advice also notes there is"limited evidence" on the impact of school closures on the rate of Covid-19 infections.This is because the steps were taken at the same time as other lockdown measures - and it is"difficult to disentangle the individual impacts".

Since Boris Johnson announced the intention to reopen schools on 1 June, if conditions were right, teachers have challenged whether it would be safe.Dozens of councils are also expected to delay opening schools until after that date.Phased returnEducation Secretary Gavin Williamson said:"The papers published by SAGE today show that the phased, cautious return of a limited number of pupils to classrooms has been a carefully considered decision based on the best scientific and medical advice."

"The welfare of children remains at the very heart of everything we are doing because being able to be back in school will benefit not just their education but also their wellbeing."The Department for Education has also highlighted that schools could open from 1 June, but it was not a specific deadline.

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There's massive opposition to the reopening of schools amongst teachers and parents out of real fears of covid. It's time teachers, parents, the working community form action committees to turn the anger and resistance into an active defence of lives of course they are the Militant Labour supporting tossers. Get back to both doing your jobs and educating the generations of children that you keep telling us are the most important parts of your life - and your VOCATION of teaching.

Of course the union officials know more about covid 19 than a scientist if it isn't and a child dies, heads will roll Of course they are unconvinced because they are happy to get full pay and do sod all. Maybe one day everyone will sing of the same hymn sheet. Must be so frustrating for teachers and parents

So 'key workers' are fine but other children are not!! Whats the difference Are we not good enough? Schools have never closed, as we have been reminded, so more shoddy BBC reporting. ...MP's should return to the House of Commons before children are asked to return to class...lead by example... Stop paying teachers and see if the unions think working is the answer

They are keeping our kids safe, good for them. I won't be sending mine back. No trust in the Conservatives government or BorisJohnson and his minions. Aiming for more time off then . Are they still getting full salaries ? Got to return sometime The risks to children at least are minuscule. Is this because they still get full pay for sitting at home. Just asking for a friend.

Yet again a fake news strapline. What’s happened to our once respected BBC. Getting a bit sick of people strongly voicing their idea that teachers are not currently at work!!! Who’s put this idea into peoples heads?! Teachers are producing online and paper work for pupils, which gets marked online. Staff with vulnerable children at school! 🤦🏻‍♀️

Schools can always double up as orphanage if Govt ideas turn out much like it's past efforts. A lot of people saying that teachers are still working. I know 3. 2 are not working & have spent all week sunbathing and are loving it. Why do we put teachers on such a pedestal? Like they are more special than others? Stop walking on eggshells, they are playing political games

So disappointed with the BBCs attitude to teachers recently. How about reading the report and making the headline about the content not matching the government plans, rather than this condescending headline. As a scientist I am concerned about the report contents. There are also parents like me that are vulnerable because of health issues who are concerned that our children could bring the virus back into the home, has that even been considered?

Stop their pay then Improve contract tracing AND REPORT THE WHOLE TRUTH BBC - teachers ages 40+ The profession is made up of many older staff What about the risk to them and their families ? Its s HIGHER RISK FOR THEM and their families I agree, I was in a shop today, with my 13 year old, near the toy section. There was other kids. They weren't stay 2ft apart let alone 2m. There parents were not bothered.

BBCPolitics We now the beeb are pushing the need to return to work and people cannot if schools don't open. IT'S NOT DAY CARE ITS EDUCATION. If it's safe take the children to work and ask work to set aside a room and you can take it in turns to look after them. Bet it didnt stop any of you going out for a jolly up over the last few days did it? Or the supermarket for that matter hypocrites....

They’re enjoying the easy life of extended holiday on full pay! Why wouldn’t you? Keir_Starmer has sent his kids throughout. Just had a lovely email from my sons schools with all the info about going back 1st June. They seem happy, following the Danish model. 👍 If the government agrees to delay the return will teachers agree to work through the summer to compensate children for the time they’ve lost?

more see well at Tesco here extra Tesco go there ask if someone has a child at home family and of course there are they never stopped and takes more risk home than from schools so think about it in this way close in general and pay for everyone to stay at home until September, they want to stay at home for seven months still receiving it would be very unfair to anyone who works in the supermarket pharmacy bus are still at work never closed or stopped and they all have family at home children teachers are not better than they are not

Shock horror. A union working against an elected majority conservative government, never 🙄 BBCPolitics So how come it’s not safe for little Jonny not to go to school but it’s safe for him to go round the shops? Hopefully, principles will be adhered to and no kids will be seen at the Beaches or Countryside over the Bank holiday 👍

The teachers telling the scientist that they know better They are pathetic. When does society tell key workers that we’re happy for you to risk you and your children’s lives, by their continued schooling, but we won’t risk our own, hope the clapping helps! Yeah ‘Unions’ and not ‘Teachers’ like it says in your BBC website headline. Most teachers want to get back to work, while the unions want to play silly fucking games and ruin our children’s education. They make me sick!!!

Good job it is not their call then really I'm more worried about my shy 6yr old child's state of mind, going back to school that is nothing like it should be. No uniform Bubble groups he must stay in Different teachers Own stationary No lunch boxes unless disposable Different start & pick up times School's Out for the Summer!!

NASUWT What about the headmasters? Forget the left wing Union activists! This is ridiculous now! Teachers don’t live in the real world and are state funded. They need to get back to work so the UK can get back to work. How many holidays do they need. They’ve all been at home on full pay and will soon have a 6 week full paid holiday..disgraceful!

It’s a double edged sword ........... kids go back to school.... no excuse for parents to resume work, schools remain shut because of the media induced panic and kids remain off giving parents excuse to remain home on 80% providing childcare ! It’s a win win BBCPolitics A vast majority of teachers teaching that age group are in the lower risk age group teaching the lowest risk age group. What will be different in September. Probably nothing. Go to work and teach our kids

Scientific advisors, like Neil Ferguson, who gets everything wrong. This is only a virus like flu. The figures have been massaged up to make it look bad, put you in fear, and then give you an unnecessary vaccination. Wake up. Read left wing Union activists! If a hospital can be built in four days then so can extra schools, or private home tuition will become the norm...this country is changing...no more teachers ...

teachers want to teach, just need clear direction and procedure in place....this is about the union Glad my kids are older, no way would they be going back to school until the elite kids did As a parent I'd sooner follow the Teachers on this stance, the GOVERNMENT lies and there science bods know nothing about covid 19. DON'T LET THEM ABUSE OUR CHILDRENS HEALTH. stay alert not a chance STAY AWAY is better.

Don’t go back. Proof positive you don’t give a shit about poor children stuck in high rises with no access to the internet. Well done. Live with yourselves. Well Starmer must think so because his kids have been going to school all the way through. Headteachers are ignoring the government's opening 1st of june.

They’re absolutely right, it is too early! The goveneeda to step in . Schools have not responded to opening on 1st of june . BorisJohnson If the kids are old enough to play out on there own,the parents have no idea who they are meeting etc,they should be back at school. I see groups of kids mixing every day.

There are schools open with pupils who are essential worker children. Any statistics of infections with teachers in these schools and times? Teachers unions must have this information or are they not really interested in teachers wellbeing? BBCPolitics Full and detailed government explanation stressing that June 1 is a target date subject to many provisos, and advice to schools on opening safely, exists on Shame none of the panel have done their homework. 3 / 10. Must try harder. From Keith Simpson.

Jesus just call it and say minimum start date September. Or better still just let everyone restart there years when the 12 months is up Its got to be easier to take the books off than tape them off, and less anxious making for the kids too. Visually that place says HAZARD!!! NIGHTMARE!!!! it needs to say calm, welcome, creative.

Full salary full final pension. Really? Kids are basically immune and appear to be low transmission vectors. Little evidence they can jnfect adults.. Workshy..... 36 weeks a year must be exhausting Don't buy the propaganda. They are sunbathing, enjoying the DIY at home and revelling in the 5 months full pay while their bins are collected and we're looking after everything for them

I’m unconvinced that we need a summer break and believe that teachers should have no more than 2 week away like the rest of us NASUWT Our local school has been reluctant to even take key worker children. Have now confirmed no scope for opening. Home learning has been poor. Parents requesting places is 60%. Cut the funding if they don’t open

Had you see how fast the common flu spread in schools? Imagine a new flu virus I wonder how many teachers are worried about being taken to court over the death of a child due to covid? Dont pay them this is getting ridiculous. Surprise surprise. Only people they care about are themselves. Trying to get things moving is clearly against their agenda. Pathetic anarchists. Can’t even think of the children but for them it’s never been about the children. It’s about their politics.

Government bang on that education is important, talk about teaching us to suck eggs, the safety of children and staff is more important right? When will the unions ever be convinced? They’ve turned this into a political row now! And the TAXES paid by key workers and everyone working full time from home can pay teachers and everyone else who doesn't want to go back to work to stay at home. Right?

Smash the unions! 👊 These lefty snowflakes will never be convinced. Good job they didnt work for NHS, Tesco, truck drives etc. Political activists not teachers Get the contact tracing up and running first, control the virus blah blah. No teach... no pay.... simple! Get back to work Mummy state fueled by the press,do they think it will ever be 100% to return what happens then , keep kids in till there 25

Sack them or don't pay them. Watch them come crawling back. Well I know a teacher who is supposed to be working but met her coming out of Wickes click and collect with emulsion paint on a school day so not sure what she was teaching online. LOL Union/lefty idiots thinking they more than everyone else shocker..

No worries,keep sucking lemons,using children as a political gain is about right for unions ,but not surprising. BBCPolitics It’s not up to them to be convinced by the evidence. Their job is to go into classrooms and teach. NUT the most militant left wing union in this country! Anyone surprised? Put the schools off till September like all the posh ones have done Boris and Hancock using state schools in experiments

BBCPolitics No shit Sherlock they are using children as political pawns Should this be teachers union has enjoyed the holiday so far and would like it to go on as long as possible? Who do you trust most? People (mostly morons) slagging off teachers with utter nonsense points and arguments, it’s as if they don’t want the best for their kids or just kids in general.. have a word with yourselves ffs!

BBCPolitics They are not saying they can't open at all, just that they can't safely care for more than the Keyworker and vulnerable children. Did they ask for scientists advice when they closed the schools? Hold on surelynthis can’t be right, we want our unions to look at it, we refuse to close until unions are happy children are at risk. Where are the keys, let’s go party

Of course the militant teachers unions are. Judging by a lot of these tweets (teachers included), I think the adults need to go back to school. Terrible grammar and spelling mistakes. At this rate they won't go back until next year. I’m sure there are thousands of Teachers and qualified Assistants in Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Canada, India, Japan, America that would love to work in the U.K. 👍🏻 can’t though due to EU law and red tape 👊🏻💦

Would Love to know if they raised pay as part of discussions. Andy Burnham went very pro schools opening, cash for Manchester dot com. Wasn’t quite like that on Monday But everybody been moaning about the Advisers and ‘ Follow the Science ‘ for 4 months ! Pretty much 24:7 on the BBC My Brother and Sister in Law are teachers and they can’t wait to go back to work ?!? Hmmmmmm but the rest of the moaning furloughed don’t want

BBCPolitics Keep them closed for a few years It’s very puzzling there happy to have key workers children and vulnerable children who could be asymptomatic as theres no checks in place but not open the schools fully again! Right wing fuckwits jumping on rhis because they don't read tbe article...... Take time to read the impact studies by sage on various models of re opening. At least try and understand a different point of view before political point scoring.

Support staff are working now so why do teachers once again feel they are so precious Yet 70 kids playing on the park behind my house and football game going on. Teacher's are no less safe than anyone else. Get back to work or stay off, zero pay BBCPolitics All those poor kids kept away from all their mates. This will no doubt do their social bonding and interaction with others great harm. Maybe if the government agreed with the unions to pay the teachers a bit more then they could return hey?

BBCPolitics Schools would be alot safer if they didn't mix high risk (NHS staffs children) with the wider population until the NHS and their families have been quarantined. Stop printing, tweeting misleading headlines Probably because most of the governments advise has been bs anyways !! So they are going on strike?

Any excuse look to prolong their time off work, lazy bastards Didnt they say they didnt know..... Cue thick as shit Gammon storm.

Nicola Sturgeon eases coronavirus lockdown rules in ScotlandSunbathing, meeting friends outdoors and some sports allowed – and schools to reopen in August From the 28th of May. Quote the lady properly. No Guardian investigation into more serious Sturgeon covid failings than Westminster. Guardian blind to anything in UK politics but Johnson! A boot time Scotland made the look doon rules clear

Schools will only reopen in AUGUST in Scotland - and even then only part time, as Nicola Sturgeon reveals lockdown exit planSCHOOLS in Scotland won’t reopen until August and students will only be in classrooms part-time. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today Scotland’s roadmap to relax lockdown meas… During the 6 weeks holiday? Don’t need qualifications to sign on anyway summer break in scotland is june 25 to august 12.

Militant unions caught plotting to threaten headteachers who try to reopen schools at secret meetingFOOTAGE has emerged of unions threatening to attack headteachers on social media who try to get their staff back to work on June 1. Video footage showed leaders of the National Education Union disc… Thats why organizing is important. We never got rid of organized crime so it must work. NEUnion are twts.

Boris Johnson says track-and-trace operation WILL be in place from June 1BORIS Johnson plans to ease lockdown in 10 days with hopes that schools and shops can reopen on June 1 thanks to a “world-beating” track-and-trace. The scheme to identify new coronaviru… Good. Do you know that in The United Kingdom Of Great Britain you can criticize the Queen and her politicians and her lords and her knights with virtual impunity but you can be censored banned and even arrested for merely questioning Zionist Israel and it's interests?

Schools reopening on June 1 'too soon', say scientists who urge two-week delayScientists from a group called Independent Sage - chaired by the former chief scientific adviser Sir David King - claim the coronavirus risk to children would be halved if the reopening of schools is delayed until mid-June Why!! They are opening all over Europe without any problems, or is it just your left-wing agenda...

Ministers rejected school reopening plan recommended by Sage expertsDocuments reveal that PM’s current plan was not among those modelled for scientists But.. The Science. We’re following the science ... but only the science we want you think we’re following. The government prefer to appease forelock tuggers screaming open the schools on the internet