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Schools around Europe

(40 Posts)
epythymy Mon 08-Jun-20 08:14:11

I would like to put together a letter to my local MP as well as the local council and perhaps the headteacher of my children's school. None of whom (Yorkshire) would appear to want children in school at any point in the near future, perhaps for the whole of the next academic year.

I know schools across Europe have returned (Denmark and Switzerland in particular) with no obvious second spikes. I would like to use other schools as evidence as well as local and national data to better form my argument.

The local and national data is obviously quite easy to come by but the whole of Europe is massive and I would appreciate some narrowing down for googling etc.

Are other schools social distancing? Are schools back full time and for all children? Are your children being told horror stories constantly about how unsafe they are like my 6 year old?

Anything you want to add that you might think helpful would be appreciated. Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
MsJaneAusten Mon 08-Jun-20 08:21:05

I’d start by comparing the R rate in other counties to ours. Then stop.

Legoandloldolls Mon 08-Jun-20 08:25:01

As you can see from pp, some people dont want school age children to get a education until their is a vaccine so kids education goodbye for two years.

I wonder how much longer local authorities will want to keep paying out to empty schools?

Roll on more youths hanging about in groups as they have else to do. ....

Then listen to the complaints about that

Abbccc Mon 08-Jun-20 08:26:32

Schools for under 16s have been open in Sweden all along.

nowaitaminute Mon 08-Jun-20 08:26:45

Well I'm in Europe (ROI) and school is not back until September

MoreW1ne Mon 08-Jun-20 08:27:09

Respectfully, making comparisons to other countries (either related to their education system or current pandemic progress) is worthless.

There isn't any real data that (analysed correctly) could help support you. Not because they haven't opened successfully, but because there systems are so vastly different that there are too many significant variables. They make for easy headlines, but have little use outside of that.

I would personally look to use the data from the last week's opening around the country. That will be hard to find at this early stage, but that is your best bet in terms of making a credible case, should you find similar areas of the country to your that have opened with a relatively small increase in cases.

Worriedmum999 Mon 08-Jun-20 08:41:47

A mass opening of schools at the moment is a false economy as we will just end up in full lockdown again. Our R rate and number of infections is not low enough to be opening schools safely. We have absolutely fucked up managing this crisis so far and are continuing to do so with the crap track and trace effort. Infections needs to be driven right down with an effective track and trace in place. Listen to any of the experts and they will tell you that. We might get away with the small number of children who have gone back to school at the moment but there is no way to open them up any further hence why the government isn’t. It’s better to delay it a bit for everyone until we are on top of managing things. All this rushing to open up will land us with regional lockdowns or, at worst, a full lockdown. I say this as an ex teacher in a deprived area who knows how important school is for some children and a parent of 2.

CornishYarg Mon 08-Jun-20 08:46:01

Belgian primary schools reopened to some years on 18 May and to all years from today. It isn't clear from this article what level of social distancing is required, but the comment about teachers wearing a mask if it isn't possible suggests it's not strictly applied.

As a pp said, though, it's hard to make comparisons; we don't know their class numbers, classroom sizes etc. But I do think this country is an interesting one to watch over the next few weeks as they were also badly affected by coronavirus; this isn't a country like Denmark or Iceland that kept the numbers very low.

Another interesting article I found about Belgium is below. Paediatricians appear to have had a key say on schools reopening and commented on children's right to an education and the advantages of being in school. This article is dated 30 April so they may well still have had a number of deaths being reported then.

Ickabog Mon 08-Jun-20 08:53:36

Here's an interesting article about the reopening of schools and childcare in Denmark.

However, I do agree with others who have said it's impossible to compare, for example the group sizes are wildly different.

The Danish Health Authority recommend groups of three for children three years old or younger, and groups of five or six for children over the age of three.

Astabarista Mon 08-Jun-20 08:59:16

Exactly what @MsJaneAusten said.

Spain and Italy have the most similar experience to us. Even they had fewer deaths and have a lower infection rate.

Their schools are off until at least September.

Cherry picking schools with far less deaths and cases (and far larger, better funded schools) is illogical.

Astabarista Mon 08-Jun-20 09:02:30

Also worth noting that even in Denmark, smaller, less cases, larger schools with more space....

The R rate rose 0.3 from 0.6 to 0.9 when schools opened.

A rise Of 0.3 here would take us well over 1 in most areas because lots of areas are already 0.8 - 1+.

You can’t compare

TheCanterburyWhales Mon 08-Jun-20 09:03:13

I'm in Europe and our schools aren't back until September because they close this week for the summer anyway, so even though everything else is back to normal give or take there was no point.
We have had 3 months (since 16/3 in my region) of online classes 6 days a week in any case, so everyone is ready for the break.
Final year exams will only be oral, but will take place in school as the kids will go in one at a time to speak to the exam board (about 10 people)
They are still looking at September but it's three months away- look where we were three months ago. They are planning worst case (a mix of online/in school, SD measures, more teachers being fast tracked in case we do shifts, even plexi glass pods around the desks being mentioned)

pfrench Mon 08-Jun-20 09:03:40

perhaps the headteacher of my children's school

Please don't. This is on the government. Write to them.

Heads are being asked to make high stakes decisions in an environment of massive pressure, having not had a day off (lots haven't been able to have weekends off because DfE guidance appeared on Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights) in 3 months. They are exhausted, there is going to be an exodus of head teachers after this. It's not what they signed up for, having a go at them will not help.

This is on the government.

CornishYarg Mon 08-Jun-20 09:04:14

Astabarista Spain and Italy break up in June anyway so we don't know if this is the reason they haven't returned.

As I posted above, Belgium is also a fair comparison to us in terms of death rates and they have returned.

pfrench Mon 08-Jun-20 09:06:03

Are your children being told horror stories constantly about how unsafe they are like my 6 year old?

Stop telling them horror stories then.

WifeofDarth Mon 08-Jun-20 09:07:29

If making comparisons with Denmark please emphasise that they have a higher ratio of teachers to pupils than we have, so can accommodate more children in small groups than we can. So to be like Denmark we will need to invest in more teachers in the UK. Also, as outdoor learning is a strong part of the primary curriculum there, schools are already equipped for this. Here our 6+ curriculum is classroom based, with few schools having the experience and facilities to support outdoor learning. Again, immediate investment in this area would help us get more children back to school safely.

Hugepeppapigfan Mon 08-Jun-20 09:07:55

Ask for more funding for schools like Denmark were given for extra staffing and outdoor handwashing facilities. And masks and visors for school staff. And smaller groups. Smaller than 15.

Astabarista Mon 08-Jun-20 09:08:04

Belgium’s R rate has been below 0.6 for some time.

You can’t compare.

Astabarista Mon 08-Jun-20 09:11:09

Belgium also only opened for a small number of pupils going in two days a week.

TheCanterburyWhales Mon 08-Jun-20 09:11:27

Cornish- yes it is. Also because they have, apart from a couple of days, not missed any school.

MashedPotatoBrainz Mon 08-Jun-20 09:11:41

We're in Sweden. Ds has been to school like normal throughout. They are cleaning the desks and seats at the end of every day and the kids are being told not to hug, but they do. They normally have PE in neighbouring school, which has stopped to reduce infection risk.. Likewise the swimming lesson at the public pool have stopped.

Schools finish for the summer this week and the usual end of term concerts and ceremonies have all be changed or cancelled to reduce infection spread.

Astabarista Mon 08-Jun-20 09:12:56

And Belgium are having 10-20 deaths a day. Not 200-300.

TrustTheGeneGenie Mon 08-Jun-20 09:13:40


I’d start by comparing the R rate in other counties to ours. Then stop.

The r rate is not the be all and end all! It would really help if people understood this before spouting it as some kind of holy figure.

CornishYarg Mon 08-Jun-20 09:13:52

I'm not saying we should send all children back now like Belgium, just that their experience over the next few weeks will provide useful data for us

Piggywaspushed Mon 08-Jun-20 09:19:06

I think you should gather this evidence, if you must, from people who actually know, or at least from trustworthy primary sources, not those who can do the same Google as you could.

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