How to Make Schools Safer #

What do Independendent Sage say?

One of the most compelling commentators I have been following throughout the pandemic is Prof. Christina Pagel (@chrischirp), Director of the Clinical Operational Research Unit at UCL and a member of Independent SAGE.

In a recent Twitter thread she flags that:

  • last November, cases in school children were high and rising

  • Independent Sage released a plan for safer schools, and a detailed safer workplaces charter

  • Key principles they advised for schools in November 2020 were:

    • Distancing (implying smaller classes and reorganisation)
    • Ventilation
    • Face coverings
    • Bubbles (consistent self-contained groups)
    • Self-isolation: In the case of infections, the bubble should form the basis for isolating contacts.
    • Testing (all staff and students within a bubble should be tested where they are positive cases)
    • Learning resources to support home-based learning with books as well as IT
    • Examinations - schools need to focus on learning and wellbeing, without sources of stress - replace secondary school exams replaced with assessment by teachers, with suitable moderation
    • Wellbeing - creative thinking to ensure that young people are able to socialise safely
    • Transparency - clear information should be provided to all stakeholders and organisations
    • Advice and support from local public health teams
    • Staff welfare and morale
  • Pagel notes that a year later little of their advice has been picked up and implemented by central government, and cases in school children are even higher than they were last year

  • Independent Sage have relaunched an updated safer workplaces charter

  • They have issued a consultation document on Covid Safety Codes of Practice

A PDF of the full thread is available here

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