Not only has UFT, a lobbying group with non-transparent funding & connections to the CRG & tory govt had a hugely damaging impact on school policy, they're actively working to strip back even the woefully inadequate protections we have in schools. We should be v. worried.🧵
The @educationgovuk is currently carrying out on review on masking policy in schools. Currently masks are recommended for secondaries when distancing cannot be maintained. Even this is completely inadequate, but the review may mean even these basic protections are stripped back.
What is this review considering? Nothing has been made public yet. It appears that unions have been asked to respond to questions about adherence, tolerance, harms & benefits. But how does the review consider the key benefit of mask use- reduction in transmission?
Any review that does not consider this would be completely invalid. There is good evidence from many studies now that mitigation measures, including mask use have an impact on school transmission, and transmission back into households. Is the govt going to consider this evidence?
Will this review be made public? Will the impact on long COVID in children be assessed?

Any review that does not consider the impact on health in children would be invalid.

Current DfE guidance is completely out of line with aerosol transmission evidence & CDC recommendations
Early signs from the impact of school re-opening, even over the past few weeks in England don't look good- with prevalence highest among school age children, and increasing, as well as rises in adult parental age groups. Cases already increasing in parts of England & Scotland.
Given the lack of evidence based policy on schools in the UK, and the influence many lobby groups have had on policy, we need transparency as to how this review is being conducted, what evidence is being considered. All considerations must be made public, and be open to scrutiny.
UFT has been a dangerous and damaging source of misinformation in the midst of the pandemic- threatening the govt with legal action for basic public health protections in schools that are in place in most of Europe and the world, and are recommended by public health agencies.
It's important our school policy is based on evidence not ideologically driven groups with non-transparent funding, and connections with govt groups with libertarian agendas.
Here are the mitigations we need in schools to protect our children and communities. We need to be increasing protections in schools in line with evidence, not stripping them back.

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More from @dgurdasani1

2 Apr
I'm hearing worrying rhetoric from scientists suggesting that children don't suffer from 'severe illness' so may not need vaccination. Let's look at the evidence around this. How severe in SARS-CoV-2 in children, and what are the impacts of transmission occurring among children?
We've heard repeatedly, even from scientists that children are less susceptible to infection or transmission- a narrative that seems to suggest children are less likely to get infected. We know now that this is simply not the case.
Indeed, as this point in time, young children have highest positivity rates in England & Scotland (shown below), with rises having occurred soon after school re-openings in both regions. We also know that infection rates were highest in primary & secondary age groups in December. ImageImageImage
Read 20 tweets
1 Apr
ONS survey data out today- looking at the pandemic by age paints a heterogenous picture. We appear to be having two different pandemics- one accelerating among young children since schools re-opened, alongside declines in older age groups possibly due to vaccination/lockdown 🧵 Image
Infection prevalence appears to have decreased slightly in England, level in Wales, with increases in Northern Ireland, and slight decrease in Scotland after increases the last few weeks.
Infection rates appear highest, and rising among primary school children, followed by secondary school children & 35-49 yr olds. While this is a general population, survey data, it seems consistent with what we're seeing in symptom-based case data from PHE as well (discuss later) Image
Read 13 tweets
1 Apr
Very concerning piece by @NafeezAhmed at @BylineTimes suggesting that @educationgovuk review of face-covering policies in schools is “skewing evidence” to justify “dumping face-covering requirements and mitigations rather than strengthening them”.…
This is truly bizarre given current DfE policy is well behind evidence on aerosol transmission, and behind most European, and other countries, where mask use is recommended in primaries & secondaries irrespective of distancing.
Also shocking, given data from the ONS today showing increases in infection among primary and secondary school children across England & Scotland after school re-opening, with infection rates being highest currently among primaries compared to all other age groups. Image
Read 4 tweets
1 Apr
Data from the ONS on long COVID just out- this is one of the most comprehensive studies on long COVID across the globe- based on a survey across England.

What does it show?
Based on self-reported long COVID (given many weren't tested early in the pandemic), an estimated 1.1 million people were living with long COVID in March 2021. Of these, ~478,000 report some impact on day to day life, and ~196,000 reported a lot of impact on daily functioning. Image
~700K have had symptoms for over 12 weeks, with ~473K having symptoms lasting more than 6 months.

43,000 children estimated to be living with long COVID. Illness appears to predominate in young adults, and women. Image
Read 17 tweets
28 Mar
Wow. It's astonishing to see the extent to which scientists who have repeatedly promoted narratives that have turned out to be false & damaging to COVID pandemic control will go to try and salvage their reputations, by targeting academics who have challenged false claims.
The paper concludes an IFR of 0.15% for SARS-CoV-2. So essentially a 100 million people would have needed to be infected in the UK to have deaths of ~150,000, as we do now. Bizarre, given the UK population is 67 million... How did this get past peer review?
Read 4 tweets
26 Mar
ONS data just out- as expected, clear rises in SARS-CoV-2 prevalence in Scotland. Levelling off in all other regions, and rises in several regions in England. Positivity highest among primary & secondary school children across all age groups & trending upwards. Thread.
Rises in overall infection prevalence in Scotland earlier than other regions are in line with earlier openings of primaries, and rises in confirmed cases in the 0-14 yr age group, as discussed earlier on this thread.

This means R has crept above 1 in Scotland, is likely at 1 in other regions, as declines are no longer being seen. In fact, we're seeing increases in some parts of England as well.
Read 13 tweets

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