LBC this morning
Guest 1 "Primary school children rarely infect others"
Guest 2 "In a few weeks covid will be a non fatal disease"
Presentor @toryboypierce"Now we are opening up the schools what else do you want opened up?"
This flawed thinking is constantly on display this week, a belief that once schools are fully open then we can start loosening other restrictions.
Schools are going to raise RO, 0.2-0.5 were the estimates from SAGE in May.
BTW DfE ignored all SAGE modelling for its June proposals
3/ That was before we had B117 and other variants to contend with.

4/ The government were warned in July about the risk schools posed with normal covid.

It beggers belief that in February we still don't even have masks in classrooms as a minimum improvement.

5/ Considering ventilation is one of the most important measures, its stunning there is almost no mention of it from UK government or media.

They could fully open schools but without additional measures we will struggle to keep them open. More disruption.
6/ The extra infectiousness of B117 does seem to make transmission in schools a serious issue.

Really detailed thread here, when thinking of schools we need to be doing so with our dominant variant in mind, RO margins much tighter
7/ Higher viral load,stickier spikes suggested as reasons for extra infectiousness, however this interesting data suggests it might be due to a longer infection time.

8/ This would mean isolations are ending while people are still infectious, particularly problematic if they are asymptomatic, and children are more likely to be asymptomatic.
Also UKs symptom list for children needs updating.
9/ LBC presenter while I wrote this
"What about hairdressers?"
"What about meeting our family indoors? Get non essential shops open"
"The great great reopening"
10/ Yet rather than focusing on measures proven to reduce transmission the DfE are still banging on about LFT testing.🤦‍♂️

I sometimes wonder if having bought millions of LFTs before knowing their reliability they're now just trying to shift them.

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More from @karamballes

22 Feb
1/ Thread🧵A walk through the DfE guidence for the "big bang"

Not many changes from September to December, looks like government is willing to accept transmission in schools.
11th February SAGE said it should be phased.

Changes summarised at the start Image
2/ Starts off by claiming risks for staff are no greater than other occupations.

Latest ONS data on Sept to January put education staff as one of the groups at highest risk to infection.

Apparently not much needed to deal with the new variant Image
3/ School leaders have a legal duty to protect people from harm, reduce risk to the lowest practicable level.

Surely this should also apply to government? Leaders can't accomplish this with inadequate support and guidelines Image
Read 28 tweets
14 Feb
1/ Thread 🧵: Gaslighters out in force today as a small group of MPs and lobbyists use the media to try pushing the UK down the GBD route.

Worryingly looks like we are about to repeat our mistakes by not addressing transmission in schools.

2/ Look at how the debate is being framed.
Zero Covid is being depicted as an unachievable fantasy only supported by scientists on the fringe.
How many times have I heard "they never want to end lockdown" said by skeptics today?
No one's really calling for that
3/ Schools debate is a good example of how the skeptics fight straw men rather than the substance of the issue.
Call for additional safety measures to get pupils back, get labelled as never wanting schools to open.
Anyone trying to speak sense now has to first battle through..
Read 36 tweets
7 Feb
1/🧵Been wondering how much of a factor class and privilege have played in the UKs woeful pandemic response.

The arrogance of the establishment and its client media has been on full display this week with politicians and commentators believing they know better than scientists.
2/ People in power generally don't recognise the nepotism or cronyism that propelled them into their positions.

Most acknowledge the current cabinet arent the cream of Conservative thinkers, loyalty was the key characteristic for selection.
3/ I can appreciate why its difficult for some to accept the benefits of birth and the circles they move in, no one wants their achievements devalued, but its problematic when the privileged believe we live in a true meritocracy.
Read 25 tweets
26 Jan
1/ 🧵 Commons education select committee, stand out statements.

Schools are safe, but students transmitting the virus is a problem
2/ Measures of controls make for safer environments.

He's referring to December.

No masks, no social distancing, classes of 30 with an open window (if there is one) is inheritly safer?

Safer than what?
Naked wrestling in a covid ward?

3/ 2.9m laptops already available?
Anyone know where that figure came from?
If its laptops schools already had then @NickGibbUK should know most of ours are too old and run down to be useful
Read 8 tweets
24 Jan
1/ 🧵Gaslighting🧵 24/1/21

Dail Mail annoyed a lot of people with its teacher bashing today.
Also misrepresents the unions saying we are telling members not to do live lessons, NEU recently set up a hub where people can share best practice and resources.
2/ Seemed like a large part of the article was designed to make out as if many teachers aren't trying to provide quality education in difficult circumstances.

Also noted the picture shows he's using a premade resource, no issue with the resource but feels like he's over selling
3/ NEU Remote Education Hub…
Read 24 tweets
22 Jan
1/ The Education Select Committee meeting this week relied on 4 witnesses depending on limited sources to justify the DfE current policies and they will try to use these to justify not improving safety measures in the future

Full look at the meeting here
2/ Stock phrase answers used in the meeting and regularly repeated in the media

"Teachers at no greater risk than other workers"
"Community transmission"
"No evidence that..."
"Low transmission"
"Appropriate measures in place"
"Balance of risk"

These statements need examining
3/"Teachers at no greater risk"
First of all this ignores support staff and those based in the classroom like TAs do appear to be at greater risk than teachers.

This phrase is a quote from an ONS report done on risk in the workplace, many issues have been raised about the report
Read 28 tweets

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