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
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
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
4/ Summary of control measures, note they say that safety measures may be removed after Easter!
5/ List of symptoms to lookout for still too limited, particularly in regards to children
6/ Biggest change, masks to be worn in secondary classrooms by adults and students, not in primary.

However they say these measures are only in place until Easter when it will be renewed.

They admit masks are needed but will look to get rid of them as soon as possible.
7/ Bubbles, try to keep them apart where possible.
We know this isn't really going to work but we put it in because it looks good for client journalists to claim we have effective measures.
8/ Adults should social distance but not students. If adults can't social distance then take other measures?!

Also says if adults can't distance then have smaller groups, but we can't rota so this advice is unimplementable in most cases
9/ Ventilation, most important measure.

Open windows, open doors, turn heating on if cold.

Thats it, while Germany, France, US etc invest hundreds of millions in ventilation, this is how the UK demonstrate how serious they take safety in school
10/ Isolation policy
Still no acknowledgement of airborne transmission, you can't catch covid in a non ventilated room if you're more than 2ms away
11/ This is interesting,says LFT as replacement for isolation was paused cos they arent certain how well the already unreliable tests are with variants.

Yet it also says regular testing with these will protect the school population?
12/ Isolation still only 10 days, but data on B117 suggests a longer incubation time.
13/ Regular LFT testing, students can opt out, first 3 tests in school and then they do them at home afterwards.
Wondering how accurate LFTs done by students at home are?
I know some of my yr 11s just swabbed their cheek when they had to do PCR home tests
14/ Here is the logistical nightmare for heads.

Students must be tested 3 times within 3-5 days when they return.

So my school could need to carry out 4k tests in a week
15/ In reality not all students gave consent. So it's only a little over 3000 tests we need to do in a week.
Nationally, maybe 6million to 12 million tests in a week.

A test takes 15 minutes to sign in and use the booth. Booth open early and close late, 7 hours? 28 per booth
16/ So 25 booths running for 7 hours a day could squeeze it into a week. Our hall set up has 5 booths, so we just need to find space for 4 more testing areas. That's all the indoor space gone that we are being asked to use for after school clubs.
17/ No longer need for a PCR confirmation after a positive LFT.

Primary staff continue to test at home, nothing for students.

Acknowledgement that its difficult for special schools
18/ Attendance for students is mandatory, no parental choice, vulnerable families without a shielding letter could face sanctions.

Although they need 3 LFTs in secondary, they can start mixing after the first one.
19/ More children are being removed from shielding lists, they are expected to be in. Clinically vulnerable students expected in school.
20/If families who were previously shielding are anxious, reassure them its safe (even if its not)

Then remind them schools compulsory....and between the lines is the unspoken knowledge sanctions are possible.

Wheres parental choice?
21/ CEV staff WFH.

PAID ON USUAL TERMS- some schools have tried to pull this trick on at risk staff
22/Living with CEV? Go to school
23/ Clinically vulnerable? Go to school

Living with clinically vulnerable? Go to school

Really reckless attitude to safety of at risk groups who haven't been vaccinated yet

Why take the risk?
24/ General guidence for pregnant women applies.

Be aware from 28 weeks of pregnancy the risks of covid are increased
29/Other at risk groups, go to school the DfE measures will protect you, they claim.

Individual risk assessments will be needed, I don't see how risk can be effectively mitigated without good ventilation.
30/ Staff deployment, my advice to staff.

Changed should be discussed and agreed on, make sure appropriate training is done. No one should be forced to work beyond job description.
31/ Support staff agreeing to take on extra responsibilities should be properly remunerated in line with the pay grade for that responsibility.
Union reps can help negotiate this, I've advised several support staff groups in securing pay rises and contract changes this past year
32/ Supply staff should still be used and follow all expected measures.

Would be better if they recommended offering long term contracts, supply really need financial stability and schools will need them.
33/ ITT can go on placements and carry on as usual.
I hope previous advice about not penalising them because of restrictions due to covid still apply
34/ PM (should have been paused nationally)
Adopt targets (scrap data)
Should not be penalised for student restrictions
Anyone not on capability should pass, I recommend everyone who doesn't to appeal when the time comes,pay appeals generally have a good success rate anyway
35/ Canteens open normally.
36/ Unsurprisingly there's little detail on SEND, a side note in most sections.
37/ All extra curricular and after school activities to start straight away.

But we must provide wrap around care after school to support parents to work.

Am I reading this right? How do we staff this? Have we just become evening care?
38/ Curriculum expectations
39/ Early Years curriculum
40/ School uniform, if its cold with windows open schools should be flexible with extra layers, I know a few haven't been.
41/Elective Home Education

Tell parents they should send their kids to school, can't make them but encourage them
42/ Ofsted

In person inspections to start after Easter!
43/ Prinary assessment off this year, do internal tests and prepare for September when all testing will be back to normal.
44/ Exams are the greatest cause of stress for Yr11 and Yr13, government keeps saying it cares about their mental health so I'm sure they have it sorted by now...

45/ So that's it.
Totally inadequate measures, a disregard for families that just miss out of shielding. Secondary schools could end up taking up until Easter to test everyone.
An assumption schools have endless resources despite a decade of austerity.
46/ CEV staff will be shielding, I hope many CV staff end up being protected as risk assessments could say it isn't safe for them. Then we will get cases and isolations, staffing numbers will quickly come under pressure.

SAGE advice for phased
47/ Some thoughts on why government policy concerns me.
48/ And if your wondering about Early Years, they've been told to pretend theirs no pandemic for months now.

#MakeEarlyYearsSafe @KeepEYsUnique
49/ SAGE Advice
50/ SPI-M-O estimates on R
ONS new data on risk in education

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More from @karamballes

21 Feb
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.

Read 10 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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