How to Make Schools Safer

What do Independendent Sage say?

Prof. Christina Pagel tweets about IndieSage’s work to improve Covid safety in schools and workplaces.

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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