SafeEdForAll – 23/02/2021
Reaction to Government’s plan for full return for all on March 8th 2021
Reaction - disappointed

Since March 2020 it has been understood that education provision required a long term strategy to be safe, sustainable and fair to all.

The full return for all in September along with guidance that allowed bubbles of 300,
interchanging classes of 30+,
no social distancing possible,
no masks in classrooms and no ventilation monitoring...2/
...alongside no evident recognition of the nature of aerosol transmission in relation to identifying close contacts of a positive case was, to many parents who were following the science, unbelievable.
After 2 months of temporary remote learning because although empty school buildings are safe 'it's the mixing of households within them' that causes issues regarding transmission, most parents such as those supporting SafeEdForAll, Parents United & Long Covid Kids expected to see
• A slow phased return, to allow for social distancing to be maintained (use of rotas - Switzerland, blended learning - Germany and Norway's traffic light system)
• The use of masks for all children who aren't exempt (as is the case for age 6+ in France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Thailand, Italy, Poland, South Korea, Japan, Singapore,  many US States, Canada and more)
Acknowledgement of the need to mitigate effectively aerosol transmission (ventilation monitoring advice incl use of CO2 monitors, HEPA filters where necessary - recent Scottish guidance)
• Recognition of the full range of symptoms that children can present (not just 3)

• Measures to reduce the known 'super spreader' type activity of eating lunches indoors without social distancing (see @DrEric)
• Use of extra space to enable social distancing (such as temporary Nightingale classrooms)

• The removal of the mandatory attendance and allowing parents to risk assess their own household circumstances (see CDC document referenced on SafeEdForAll briefing)
• The removal of fines for parents who wish to keep their children temporarily remote learning until community infection rates are significantly lowered

• Funding to enable schools to adequately mitigate risk (Scottish Government announced an additional £40m)
What we actually got was September Revisited
1small concession-secondary pupils will be allowed to use a recognised scientific safety measure in the classroom to better protect themselves, their peers &their families when sharing an indoor space with 30+ members of dif households
Though the guidance document also says this may be removed after Easter! Knowing that the safety measure is necessary but trying to remove it by Easter (when will they remove the requirement for all other indoor spaces where households mix?)
• No significant changes to the guidance

• No measures to reduce classroom density which impacts of adequate ventilation and social distancing. Bubbles will still be allowed to be as large as a year group (300 in some cases)
• No specific measures to address ventilation which is extremely important in an indoor setting where members of different households mix

• Canteens to be open as usual.
• No changes to isolation policy, so no real recognition of airborne transmission. They still believe that only the person sat within 2m of the positive case is a close contact.
• An acknowledgement that LFT testing as a replacement for isolation is paused (because they aren't certain how well the tests work with the variants, but then conversely the guidance says that regular testing will protect the school population)
• Isolation is still 10 days even though evidence suggests new variants may have a longer incubation time.
• Attendance is mandatory. Parents will still face fines for following public health advice and limiting their contact with other households and choosing to keep their children remote educating.

Clinically vulnerable children are still expected to attend.
Children living with clinically vulnerable family members will still have to attend.

No parental choice.
On the 11th of February SAGE said return to in-person education should be phased.

It seems that the DfE don't believe the rules of biology or physics apply once someone crosses the threshold of a school building.
Is a child or young person human? - Yes 

Can humans be infected and transmit this virus (and its variants)? - Yes

What is recommended for all indoor settings where households mix in order to decrease exposure to infection and reduce transmission? - HANDS FACE SPACE REPLACE
What of the above recognised measures can be achieved in a school with mandatory full return for all?
 -HANDS  yes
-FACE (in secondary only)
-REPLACE no (open a window is without monitoring not adequate)
As always SafeEdForAll maintain that it isn't legally or morally acceptable to unnecessarily and knowingly expose anyone (irrespective of age or occupation) to an increased risk of exposure to infection.

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More from @SafeEdForAll_UK

14 Dec 20
1/7 As parents, we are concerned ab insufficient Covid19 control in schools. Govt now admits students spread it. We have made proposals (see pinned tweet). But govt ignores us & seems to ONLY listen to WEIRD “herd immunity” linked parent lobby, which we want to tell you about.
2/7 UsForThem was created 5/20, claiming to represent parents. Core demand=schools back to normal despite Covid19. Group appears to push for flawed “herd immunity” plans supported by Great Barrington Declaration, which they encourage public to sign, regardless of qualifications.
3/7 To oppose Covid19 policies in schools, UFT cites mental health impacts lockdown/school closure, but disregards making schools safer e.g. masks/rota/distancing to AVOID closures/disruption. Long term factors MH crisis in kids, e.g. cuts to CAHMS or SEND support not mentioned.
Read 7 tweets

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