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Schools could reopen in weeks

(636 Posts)
Orangeblossom78 Fri 10-Apr-20 15:21:06

In todays "Times"

"Schools could reopen in a few weeks as coronavirus restrictions begin to be lifted, Public Health England suggested this morning.

Paul Cosford, the agency’s emeritus medical director, said that easing the lockdown for the young first was being considered as ministers look to set out an exit plan for the coming weeks.

Finding a way out of lockdown is the government’s “number one topic and priority”, according to Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, one of its leading advisers on the epidemic.

Professor Cosford said: “People are doing really well with the social distancing and it is working as far as we can see to flatten this pandemic,” but acknowledged the balance between controlling the epidemic and allowing normal life to resume.

He said that now was not the moment to relent, telling Today on BBC Radio 4: “Once you start getting things under control, that’s the time you absolutely need to continue with all your measures so that you can bring the disease right down and crack it.”

He expects there to be “a lot of discussions over the next week or so” about an exit strategy. Asked if restrictions might be eased in several weeks, he said: “I think several weeks isn’t unreasonable. Let’s hope it’s sooner than that.”

He said that starting by letting the young resume normal life was being considered. “The importance of children’s education, children being in school is paramount. That’s not the only issue but I could conceive of circumstances where some of the restrictions are lifted sooner and some are lifted later,” he said.

“There are some really difficult issues here because if you look at children and the closure of schools, a very important measure to help get this under control, but we do know that children are very low risk of getting serious complications of this disease.”

Professor Ferguson told the same programme that while hospital admissions appeared to be plateauing, “it’s going to be several more weeks before we can definitively conclude anything about the rate of decline and therefore when measures could be lifted”.

He said it was “good news” that more people were obeying social distancing rules than the government expected and said that “measures will be targeted probably by age, by geography” on lifting lockdown.

“There are lots of ideas worth exploring. That’s what’s happening right now. We clearly don’t want these measures to continue longer than is absolutely necessary — the economic costs, social costs, personal costs and health costs are huge.”

Head teachers are lobbying the government to reopen schools before the summer holidays, even for just a few weeks, if scientific advice says that it is safe.

Paul Whiteman and Geoff Barton, the general secretaries of the NAHT and ASCL head teachers’ unions, have told ministers pupils would benefit greatly from schools reopening before the summer, rather than waiting until September.

They believe that even a few weeks of school would help pupils remember what formal learning is like and what is required of them. If schools do not open before the summer children will have been away from the classroom and formal learning for more than five months.

The Department for Education is said to have shown a “genuine interest” in the approach, which would see pupils return for a number of weeks during the summer term to “reacquaint themselves with the educational environment”.

The government has made clear that it is too soon to consider reopening schools after the Easter holidays following speculation that pupils could return as soon as April 20.

“That said, once the scientific advice is that schools can return safely, they should do so, even if it’s for a very limited period before the summer break, as this will allow young people to reacquaint themselves with the educational environment,” the two leaders told Schools Week journal.

However, they warned that any return to normality “has to be a planned one”.

“It can’t be about flicking a switch on a Friday night and then thinking it’s all going to be all right on a Monday morning,” they said.

Dishwashersaurous Fri 10-Apr-20 15:23:18

What’s your aibu?

QuestionableMouse Fri 10-Apr-20 15:23:48

I reckon we won't see anything resembling normal for a good while yet unfortunately ☹️

Mumof2202022 Fri 10-Apr-20 15:23:56

He seems to have missed the point about staffing the schools

bettybattenburg Fri 10-Apr-20 15:25:12

That's all very well but it's also coming out of lockdown for the thousands of school staff who are then going to get ill and spread the virus.

PleasantVille Fri 10-Apr-20 15:25:22

What are you being unreasonable about? Anyone can say that something could happen.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Fri 10-Apr-20 15:26:01

The Coronavirus is at its peak. I can’t see kids going back to school in what 2 weeks.

MadisonAvenue Fri 10-Apr-20 15:28:13

Children may be at a lower risk but school staff aren’t.

Penners99 Fri 10-Apr-20 15:29:03

Not going to happen. September at the earliest but January 2021 is my guess

slipperywhensparticus Fri 10-Apr-20 15:29:33

A few weeks like 8?

Awwlookatmybabyspider Fri 10-Apr-20 15:30:26

It’s nothing to do with what length of time he thinks is “reasonable”. It’ll take as long as it takes.

Eggcited Fri 10-Apr-20 15:30:35

He said that starting by letting the young resume normal life was being considered. “The importance of children’s education, children being in school is paramount.

Re-opening schools isn't just about the children. If they re-open then you have to consider the staff, as well as parents, grandparents, family members who will be doing the school run, and potentially proving before / after school club care.

Social distancing would have to end.

Userwhatevernumber Fri 10-Apr-20 15:30:45

January 2021????? No that will not happen. Only on Mumsnet do people think it will be January FFS

I reckon June at the earliest, but September most likely

hobnobsaremyfavourite Fri 10-Apr-20 15:30:50

January 2021
Oh stop it
The bullshit peddled on here currently is ridiculous

VibrationNation Fri 10-Apr-20 15:31:37

No I think schools will be the absolute last place to open. Children would struggle with social distancing rules and hand washing advice and the sheer scale of schools means that the potential spread of the virus is significantly higher in schools than in other environments. I believe it will be September before schools open. I believe they will try to get the numbers of adults immune to the virus way up before they open schools. That way, I believe, the inevitable peak of cases with schools opening will be brought to a more manageable level.

Freddiefox Fri 10-Apr-20 15:32:16

I personally think schools will go back end of May time and we will have a shorter summer holiday maybe just the month of August. But really no one knows.

Appuskidu Fri 10-Apr-20 15:32:58

This is what the DfE had to say about that Times article grin

dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/04/08/coronavirus-and-school-closures/

Purplepeonies Fri 10-Apr-20 15:33:28

Surely they cannot have a short summer holiday as teachers have been working from home so they aren't actually off work?

I think it would be totally unsafe to open schools during the peak.

EmAndes Fri 10-Apr-20 15:33:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

happyandsingle Fri 10-Apr-20 15:35:17

Jan 2021grin

Grasspigeons Fri 10-Apr-20 15:36:27

I do wonder what the scientific trigger that will make it safe to re-open will be.

YouTheCat Fri 10-Apr-20 15:36:36

Schools are a hotbed of disease at the best of times.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Fri 10-Apr-20 15:36:45

Yes if the schools open they’ll have to get rid of lock down and social distancing. They can’t have it both ways.

NoLongerAnEasyTarget Fri 10-Apr-20 15:37:36

Great let's going again asap, get the economy running and save lives.

zigaziga Fri 10-Apr-20 15:37:56

I’ve been assuming September since they closed and that’s still be assumption and I think other things will gradually return to some normality in August in anticipation.

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