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So Much for Following the Science

(17 Posts)
LemonPudding Fri 22-May-20 16:44:51

Guardian article shows the government have their own agenda. But most of us knew that anyway.

www.theguardian.com/education/2020/may/22/ministers-rejected-school-reopening-plan-recommended-by-sage-experts?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR3zMOoEhs-nIQ_5Ggr8OvudMf2wfQzcxAZcsCnM6kr9CAJXF53reBzt8ZU

OP’s posts: |
NotAnotherUserNumber Fri 22-May-20 16:47:24

I recommend reading the actual SAGE papers published rather than a journalist’s spin on them and forming your own opinion.

Topseyt Fri 22-May-20 16:49:46

They are not really following anything. I doubt if they really know what the science is.

"Following the science" has become the latest soundbyte really, and seems a nebulous concept to me.

LemonPudding Fri 22-May-20 16:52:34

"Following the science" has become the latest soundbyte really, and seems a nebulous concept to me.

It was typed in a sarcastic tone.

OP’s posts: |
TuckMyWin Fri 22-May-20 17:02:12

If you read the BBC article on this, they say "Sage did say the choice of scenario was significantly less important than maintaining other ways of controlling coronavirus - such as social distancing and hand washing."

I'm no fan of this government or the way they've handled this, but I'm not sure it's entirely fair to say that the government choosing to have year R, 1 and 6 go back first, instead of all children on alternate weeks, means they weren't "following the science". I'd imagine they went with a combination that was a good balance between science based risk analysis, and practicality.

NotAnotherUserNumber Fri 22-May-20 17:24:49

@TuckMyWin the paper they are referring to is here in case you want to read it:

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/886994/s0257-sage-sub-group-modelling-behavioural-science-relaxing-school-closures-sage30.pdf

TuckMyWin Fri 22-May-20 17:42:37

Thanks @NotAnotherUserNumber. I notice the report points out you do need to take into account how flexible employers are likely to be with regards to week on/week off rota systems, and that they'd need to try to keep children from the same family on the same week of the rota. Which - is just hilarious. Like it's that easy. If the schools think planning for the option that the government did choose is a nightmare, can you imagine trying to coordinate rotas across multiple early years, infant, junior and secondary settings? Personally, I think they took what the report said and made a choice that would be a balance between keeping the risk as low as possible while actually making it somewhat workable.

itsgettingweird Fri 22-May-20 17:58:18

Read the published sage papers.

They give a much clearer insight and show in many cases where they've accused of "not following the science" that they actually are. But all science models give different impacts of different things. It's not an exact science. It's policy on what they think is best case scenario.

Pretty hard to get best case correct with a novel virus

Barbie222 Fri 22-May-20 18:15:38

I have just read the papers, the route taken was not one recommended and was a blend of two suggestions.

I don't think the DfE knew which way Boris was going to jump either until the Sunday announcement.

RigaBalsam Fri 22-May-20 18:23:12

Agree Op they didn't follow the lowest case recommendation.

However I also agree that it depends on wider social distancing which makes sense why secondary kids in the community would increase the R number.

It shows there is little wiggle room currently and even mentions this.

If you look at the graph Scenario 1 is the only scenario in which R stays below 1, even with 95% adherence to social distancing) is the scenario of schools staying shut. The others all relate to different ways to reopen schools.

NotAnotherUserNumber Fri 22-May-20 18:38:37

Scenario 2 and 4 both keep R below 1 if the adherence to other measures are at 95%

RigaBalsam Fri 22-May-20 18:43:58

Just about ish. Right on the nose.

RigaBalsam Fri 22-May-20 18:44:31

Would other measures be adhered to by 95 percent?

Piggywaspushed Fri 22-May-20 18:48:59

They used and presented nine different models. The government is using none of them . That is not spin.

The route they are taking has not been modelled.

LastTrainEast Fri 22-May-20 18:49:35

I lack the expertise to decide if their decision is the best one, but you should understand that scientific experts present science. Those in charge still must weigh up what is practical in the real world.

NeurotrashWarrior Fri 22-May-20 19:01:55

It's the "what is practical" that's the issue.

Computer says no.

Piggywaspushed Fri 22-May-20 19:09:46

But this science was neither modelled nor presented. It was never examined.

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