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The SAGE schools advice.

(91 Posts)
SmileEachDay Fri 22-May-20 16:18:05

Article re the SAGE advice to the government re school opening.

The government are not making it easy to trust them.

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Mumoftwo0357 Fri 22-May-20 16:27:59


They rejected all the safer models put forward by SAGE and didn’t even ask SAGE to do modelling based on the 1 June plan.

How is this being led by science?

Definitely not making it easy to trust them.

NotAnotherUserNumber Fri 22-May-20 16:29:00

Here is a bunch of relevant SAGE links you might want to read:

Char2015 Fri 22-May-20 16:31:40

And the Government expect us to send our kids to school. No way. Clear indication that all Government is thinking about is the economy and are willing to risk our children and the adults around them at school and in the home environment all for the sake of money and business.

Here we have the evidence that they are not following the science and making their own decisions regardless.

starrynight19 Fri 22-May-20 16:32:17

Well that’s interesting reading.
So they aren’t following the science recommendations then ??

NotAnotherUserNumber Fri 22-May-20 16:35:31


I thought the most striking bit of the SAGE advice is where they say that although the choice of scenario is important, adherence to existing measures in the community has an effect on Rt a whole order of magnitude higher.

So it is interesting that we are all so focused on small details of the schools plans, when these differences are inconsequential compared to whether the adult population continue to comply with all the other rules.

NotAnotherUserNumber Fri 22-May-20 16:38:20

@Char2015 are you reading something completely different than I am? By my reading the SAGE papers say that there is variation in the models but all show relatively low effect on R by kids going back to school and that whether adults follow social distancing rules is far more relevant.

Mumoftwo0357 Fri 22-May-20 16:46:59

I think it said that their preferred model (7) would have that effect on the R not all and they were all rejected anyway. There’s no mention of the gov’s plan because honey weren’t asked to model that (just read that in guardian and a Union statement).

That’s the way I read it.

I’ll have to read the released documents themselves for more clarity.

Char2015 Fri 22-May-20 16:52:09


Firstly, SAGE recommend a rota system to reduce risk even further. Government does not advise this. In fact, Gov were clear in their guidance advising not to use a rota system. So I would say that is going against scientific advice.

Secondly, the years being suggested to go back from June 1st were not even modelled by SAGE in their scenarios. Not one of the scenarios include all of the proposed years. But yet the Gov has decided on those years to go back. Again, I would say this is going against scientific advice. So how do we know the impact on R of all of these years together when it has not been modelled? It has not been modelled so we don't know the risk and the R value.

NotAnotherUserNumber Fri 22-May-20 16:52:51

I recommend reading the SAGE documents themselves with an open mind, rather than the spin a journalist decides to take on them.

Note point 17 (page 13) in particular.

SmileEachDay Fri 22-May-20 16:55:15

The government has chosen different year groups to the ones modelled.

The government explicitly told schools not to use rotas.

They are ignoring what SAGE say. That really undermines any sense of confidence in what they are saying.

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SmileEachDay Fri 22-May-20 16:58:59


I have. It’s linked in the article.

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NotAnotherUserNumber Fri 22-May-20 16:59:36

I don’t think SAGE did actually recommend model 7 anywhere. In fact they said that it was the least robust of the scenarios and that when that rota effect in schools is embedded into the wider community the impact is less strong.

I do agree that it would have been useful if these universities had also produced the combined modelling of those years, but suspect that for those in the know, this can be reasonably inferred from the pattern of the data provided and given that there is cross model variance and public adherence to social distancing is an order of magnitude more significant, my guess would be that the modellers felt this wasn’t a good use of their time.

RigaBalsam Fri 22-May-20 17:01:39

It shows there isn't much wiggle room at all.

That secondary increase the R value further.

The government have not followed ' the Science' and it does not mention a date.

Sage have also said the test and track needs to be in place.

Although some scenarios for relaxing school closures may have a small relative impact, this will need to be considered within the wider context – that is, if the current reproduction number is only just below 1, then even a small change could lead to a return to exponential growth.

NotAnotherUserNumber Fri 22-May-20 17:02:45

I find it interesting that others clearly read these papers as saying very different things than I read. I wonder if it is because I work in a vaguely related academic area, so I might be inferring different things than a different audience would? I wish they would publish all of the academic papers as it would make the situation clearer.

Char2015 Fri 22-May-20 17:03:18

Let's not make assumptions about my views and where my information has come from. I've read the evidence/documents and still form the same opinion that there is clearly a divide between what SAGE have advised and what Government are proposing to do.

Mumoftwo0357 Fri 22-May-20 17:11:57

I edit science journals

Mumoftwo0357 Fri 22-May-20 17:12:51

To be honest I need to sit down and read it properly rather than on the hop while filing all the hone school stuff away smile

NotAnotherUserNumber Fri 22-May-20 17:13:26


Definitely didn’t intent to make assumptions about your views, sorry. Just confused why I am reading the same thing as saying something different. (And probably, if I reflect honestly, unconsciously being a bit defensive of potential criticism of the academics involved as I do something similar and would hate to be under the pressure they must be feeling at the moment).

SmileEachDay Fri 22-May-20 17:17:15


My criticism is not of the academics. My criticism is directed at the government who have said “we’re opening these year groups because that’s what the science says” - when SAGE absolutely haven’t said that.

Who explicitly updated primary Heads and told them not to use rotas because “that’s what the science says” when it says no such thing, and actually indicates rotas make it a little safer.

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MagisCapulus Fri 22-May-20 17:34:56

Interesting. Agree about the point that the adults need to comply for any of these scenarios to work - that is, not increase the R over 1 (-if indeed that is still the goal-)

NeurotrashWarrior Fri 22-May-20 19:07:12

Point 17 on page 13. It sounds like by taking the decision they did, they were trying to rush the kids in ASAP as they know the R will go up with the other measures being relaxed and more adult contact at work (as evidenced in Denmark when schools partially resumed.) Then school holidays come along, or schools close early before summer, to help ease it off, as was found with swine flu.

Itisasecret Fri 22-May-20 19:11:03

This is why I laugh at other posters banging on about ‘modelling’ on other threads. Facts are, England’s return to school hasn’t been modelled. The government have ignored the ‘science’, all advice and modelling SAGE has given them and done their own thing. That’s before you realise the models that were given will currently push the R over 1.

Spillinteas Fri 22-May-20 19:22:23

They don’t have to listen what SAGE say!

They have to look at the bigger picture and yes that includes the economy and allowing vulnerable children to have access to school.

People are missing the fact that they even say it’s still all relies on ADULTS still following social distancing.

Ffs!! Is no fucker reading or watching the news that children ate at low risk. Get over being hysterical!

SmileEachDay Fri 22-May-20 19:30:35

They don’t have to listen what SAGE say!

No, they don’t have to. If they’re not going to, they need to make it clear they aren’t making decisions based on science rather than explicitly saying they are.

Hysterical. Nice. Do you work in a school?

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