Back to school

Covid-19 discussion, bring your own statistics
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lpm
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Re: Back to school

Post by lpm » Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:56 pm

The role of government should be to make decisions when faced with scarce resources. The amount of lockdownness we can afford is a scarce resource.

The UK govt took the decision in the summer to prioritise schools. Personally I think they were right - this has the biggest benefit to the economy. Plus there's a social justice aspect, in that children are making sacrifices for something of little danger to them.

It's not the schools per se, but that we've unlockdowned all the other stuff as well that leads to outbreaks in schools that then spread back to the pubs in the great cycle of virus life.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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mediocrity511
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Re: Back to school

Post by mediocrity511 » Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:29 pm

badger wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:24 pm
More discrepancy in guidance (and possibly of use to those with kids in school and vulnerable family members):

https://www.pilc.org.uk/news/story/pilc ... -covid-19/
Thank you for this. Bookmarked for possible use in January!

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Re: Back to school

Post by raven » Tue Dec 15, 2020 8:47 pm

bagpuss wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:25 am
I honestly cannot comprehend why the government is taking this stance. The Greenwich decision was sensible, evidence-based and reasonable, and they were going to a lot of effort to minimise the impact of closing. The government just looks idiotic** by making them open without any evidence at all to back up their insistence.


**Not hard for them to achieve, really, but still.
This.

I've taken to calling Gavin Williamson Chocolate Fireguard. I forget what the inciting incident was now, but nothing he's done since has dispelled the idea he's as much use as.

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Re: Back to school

Post by AMS » Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:55 am

DAG's take on it.

https://davidallengreen.com/2020/12/the ... h-council/

Basically, Williamson is on thin ice if it were to go to court, due to requirements for ministerial directions to be "reasonable", which a court would want to see the workings of.

But I think it's understandable that Greenwich Council don't want to go nuclear by defying the order, especially when the actual decision to close a school isn't theirs. (They were "recommending" to their schools to close.)

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Re: Back to school

Post by OffTheRock » Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:52 am

We’ve got an issue with Covid transmission in schools and attendance. what are we going to do? Reduce covid levels in the community? Put more mitigation in schools to prevent spread?

No, we’ll just replace the requirement for close contacts to self isolate with mass LF testing.

That sounds like it might take some organising. Who are we going to get to do that?

The schools, obviously. We’ve given them Christmas Day off from doing contact tracing for us.

Funding?

We’ll reimburse them for ‘reasonable costs’. At some point. Probably.

They’ll be happy with that?

Probably not. But we’ve got that covered with a media and social media policy.

https://schoolsweek.co.uk/7-staff-roles ... tructions/

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mediocrity511
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Re: Back to school

Post by mediocrity511 » Wed Dec 16, 2020 12:30 pm

It's gross.
And I can't imagine the wider community would be best pleased to be sharing public transport with pupils who of they were a little older would need to be self isolating. How many teachers are going to be happy sticking things up the noses of covidy pupils?

These tests could be of real benefit to schools. They could regularly test whole bubbles to pick up on asymptomatic cases. Making schools safer and improving attendance over time as cases drop. But instead, they've decided that attendance is more important than the health of staff, pupils and the wider community that the school is in.

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mediocrity511
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Re: Back to school

Post by mediocrity511 » Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:23 pm

Being reported that schools will go back later in January, supposedly due to the roll out of this lateral flow testing.

So all that legal muscle being thrown around, for what? Clearly they must have known this was imminent.

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Re: Back to school

Post by OffTheRock » Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:29 pm

I think it’s a resounding ‘f.ck off’ from teachers so far. Difficult to see how they’d fit it in between the in class teaching, the online teaching & prep & covering for the teachers who are off sick. I doubt the ones who are CV or CEV or who live with family who are would be up for it.

I believe that the DfE are about to announce that schools will be going online for the first week of term in January. Not sure if that will be a u-turn or just a consequence of not ending this term a week early.

Ridiculous thing is in an effort to keep kids in school they’ve ended up making it more inequitable. The kids who’ve only had 1 isolation must have a growing educational advantage over those that are on their 3rd or 4th isolation. Would have been better to do everything possible to keep infections in school low rather than pretend it wasn’t a problem.

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Re: Back to school

Post by OffTheRock » Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:31 pm

mediocrity511 wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:23 pm
Being reported that schools will go back later in January, supposedly due to the roll out of this lateral flow testing.

So all that legal muscle being thrown around, for what? Clearly they must have known this was imminent.
Flexing muscle I guess.

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Re: Back to school

Post by jimbob » Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:01 pm

mediocrity511 wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:18 am
I'm also feeling pissed off about all this "schools are crucial for children's wellbeing". Because being trapped in the house, whilst their Dad is shut away in the attic is not good for my kid's wellbeing. The littlest doesn't understand why Daddy is in the house but won't see him and is acting up terribly. The eldest is worried about bringing covid into the house. Both need more fresh air and exercise than currently possible, but obviously that bit is the same for all self isolating children.
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2 ... gures-show
Huge disparities in the amount of classroom time pupils have received across England since schools reopened in September have been revealed by stark new figures on school attendance.

Attendance ranged from as little as 37% in the West Midlands borough of Sandwell to 92% in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, during one week alone, according to the first breakdown of missed school days by council area.

The 10 boroughs in England where children’s education has been most disrupted since schools reopened following six months of lockdown are all areas where deprivation is worse than the national average.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Back to school

Post by OffTheRock » Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:21 pm

General,consensus among teaching friends and ex-colleagues is that it’s fine until it’s not. You go nearly a half term or term without a single case then you get one or two and a couple of weeks later you only have a couple of years in and half your teachers off.

Not all of the children not in school are isolating either. Lots of KS3 children at home due to not having enough teachers and focus going on exam years. A few of the ones in school are probably just doing the set work with a cover supervisor. It’s a total mess in some areas.

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Re: Back to school

Post by jimbob » Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:32 pm

OffTheRock wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:21 pm
General,consensus among teaching friends and ex-colleagues is that it’s fine until it’s not. You go nearly a half term or term without a single case then you get one or two and a couple of weeks later you only have a couple of years in and half your teachers off.

Not all of the children not in school are isolating either. Lots of KS3 children at home due to not having enough teachers and focus going on exam years. A few of the ones in school are probably just doing the set work with a cover supervisor. It’s a total mess in some areas.
Yes:

https://explore-education-statistics.se ... 20-week-50
We estimate approximately 7-9% of pupils in state-funded schools did not attend school for COVID-19 related reasons on Thursday 10 December [1]. This includes:
0.2% of pupils with a confirmed case of coronavirus. Similar to last week.
0.4% of pupils with a suspected case of coronavirus. Up slightly from last week.
6.6-7.3% of pupils self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus [1]. Up slightly from 6.4-7.0% last week.
0.6% of pupils in schools closed for COVID-19 related reasons. Up slightly from last week
After half term, the proportion of schools who had 30 or more pupils self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus inside the school rose from 8-9% on 5 November up to 25-27% on 19 November. On Thursday 26 November, this decreased slightly to 23-25%. This figure fell again on Thursday 3 December to 19-21% and remained at this level on Thursday 10th December.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Sciolus
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Re: Back to school

Post by Sciolus » Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:36 pm

But remember, national exams in June are the only fair way to assess students.

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Re: Back to school

Post by OffTheRock » Wed Dec 16, 2020 9:25 pm

Sciolus wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:36 pm
But remember, national exams in June are the only fair way to assess students.
Also masks affect educational outcomes so shouldn’t be worn in the classroom.

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Re: Back to school

Post by shpalman » Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:02 pm

shpalman wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:31 am
bagpuss wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:25 am
I honestly cannot comprehend why the government is taking this stance. The Greenwich decision was sensible, evidence-based and reasonable, and they were going to a lot of effort to minimise the impact of closing. The government just looks idiotic** by making them open without any evidence at all to back up their insistence.
It will be compulsory right up until the moment when it will be forbidden.
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molto tricky

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bob sterman
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Re: Back to school

Post by bob sterman » Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:03 am

Just got a message from school.

It seems that in January they are planning to use rapid lateral flow testing to REPLACE current protocols for isolating close-contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

So close contacts of confirmed cases - allowed to keep attending school if they test negative on a lateral flow test.

Has anyone ever claimed lateral flow tests have the required sensitivity for this?

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Re: Back to school

Post by Sciolus » Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:35 am

If they have, they were absolutely wrong: https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4744 plus umpteen other search results for "lateral flow test sensitivity".

Low-quality tests such as lateral flow have a role in population screening, but that role is to pick up candidate positive cases so they can be isolated until given a reliable test, not to give the all-clear to people who test negative.

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Re: Back to school

Post by jimbob » Mon Dec 21, 2020 5:40 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:03 am
Just got a message from school.

It seems that in January they are planning to use rapid lateral flow testing to REPLACE current protocols for isolating close-contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

So close contacts of confirmed cases - allowed to keep attending school if they test negative on a lateral flow test.

Has anyone ever claimed lateral flow tests have the required sensitivity for this?
I just came here to post the link described below:


Sciolus wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:35 am
If they have, they were absolutely wrong: https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4744 plus umpteen other search results for "lateral flow test sensitivity".

Low-quality tests such as lateral flow have a role in population screening, but that role is to pick up candidate positive cases so they can be isolated until given a reliable test, not to give the all-clear to people who test negative.
Even trained laboratory staff had a 21% false-negative rate. Trained medical staff had about 30% and self-trained members of the public had about a 40% false-negative rate.

I would guess school staff would be somewhere between the last two. But even the 20% is dangerously useless except for screening.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Back to school

Post by shpalman » Mon Dec 21, 2020 6:09 pm

molto tricky

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Re: Back to school

Post by JellyandJackson » Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:04 am

Mass lateral flow testing will be a nightmare for kidA. She has the best developed gag reflex ever known to man, and anxiety. And when she’s anxious, she pukes. And then worries about looking silly in front of her friends. I wonder if there’ll be any way she could do them at home and then at least she’ll be puking in the comfort of our bathroom.
f.ck me, it’s going to be a long winter.

(Also, I would put money on Kid A and B’s school being a superspreading hotspot. Not least because, according to kid B, one child in yr 11 was in school with symptoms for 4 days. When they broke up for Christmas, she says, via the grapevine, there were approx 60 positive cases in the school, 2/3 of those in one year. One of her friends has now self isolated 4 times. It’s his GCSE year).
A thousand strawberry lollies and the princess of Lichtenstein.

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mediocrity511
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Re: Back to school

Post by mediocrity511 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:16 am

JellyandJackson wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:04 am
Mass lateral flow testing will be a nightmare for kidA. She has the best developed gag reflex ever known to man, and anxiety. And when she’s anxious, she pukes. And then worries about looking silly in front of her friends. I wonder if there’ll be any way she could do them at home and then at least she’ll be puking in the comfort of our bathroom.
f.ck me, it’s going to be a long winter.

(Also, I would put money on Kid A and B’s school being a superspreading hotspot. Not least because, according to kid B, one child in yr 11 was in school with symptoms for 4 days. When they broke up for Christmas, she says, via the grapevine, there were approx 60 positive cases in the school, 2/3 of those in one year. One of her friends has now self isolated 4 times. It’s his GCSE year).
It won't be compulsory. But also, there may be the option to just swab the nostrils, as there currently is with the PCR tests. Close contacts can also choose to self isolate at home for 10 days instead of taking the test (and this is what we've decided will happen for us if the roll out reaches primary schools, as we feel It will be the safer option).

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Re: Back to school

Post by JellyandJackson » Tue Dec 22, 2020 11:47 am

Yes, I think she’d pretty much decided for herself to self-isolate rather than take the test. Which seems reasonable, though the attraction might pall by the 3rd or 4th time. I have previously told her that she could just do the nostril swab, which is largely what we ended up doing with Child C for his test as he has the second most developed gag reflex ever known. She was worried about it being less accurate, but my feeling is they need some fluid with enough gunk* on it to sample for the virus, and if it’s covered in vomit that’ll dilute the accuracy somewhat.
Sigh. Reasoning with anxious 17 year olds is not an easy thing to do.
*SCIENCE.
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Re: Back to school

Post by jimbob » Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:20 pm

JellyandJackson wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:04 am
Mass lateral flow testing will be a nightmare for kidA. She has the best developed gag reflex ever known to man, and anxiety. And when she’s anxious, she pukes. And then worries about looking silly in front of her friends. I wonder if there’ll be any way she could do them at home and then at least she’ll be puking in the comfort of our bathroom.
f.ck me, it’s going to be a long winter.

(Also, I would put money on Kid A and B’s school being a superspreading hotspot. Not least because, according to kid B, one child in yr 11 was in school with symptoms for 4 days. When they broke up for Christmas, she says, via the grapevine, there were approx 60 positive cases in the school, 2/3 of those in one year. One of her friends has now self isolated 4 times. It’s his GCSE year).
And this is yet another reason why we should be moving classes online. There's a difference between normal lockdown and self-isolation. And it's also more fair if everyone is learning online, rather than the lottery that's happening now.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Back to school

Post by jimbob » Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:24 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:03 am
Just got a message from school.

It seems that in January they are planning to use rapid lateral flow testing to REPLACE current protocols for isolating close-contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

So close contacts of confirmed cases - allowed to keep attending school if they test negative on a lateral flow test.

Has anyone ever claimed lateral flow tests have the required sensitivity for this?
JellyandJackson wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:04 am
Mass lateral flow testing will be a nightmare for kidA. She has the best developed gag reflex ever known to man, and anxiety. And when she’s anxious, she pukes. And then worries about looking silly in front of her friends. I wonder if there’ll be any way she could do them at home and then at least she’ll be puking in the comfort of our bathroom.
f.ck me, it’s going to be a long winter.

(Also, I would put money on Kid A and B’s school being a superspreading hotspot. Not least because, according to kid B, one child in yr 11 was in school with symptoms for 4 days. When they broke up for Christmas, she says, via the grapevine, there were approx 60 positive cases in the school, 2/3 of those in one year. One of her friends has now self isolated 4 times. It’s his GCSE year).
Unsurprisingly, seeing the data posted here about their accuracy:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... racy-fears

The government has shelved plans to open rapid-turnaround coronavirus test centres across England over Christmas amid concerns from public health experts about the accuracy of their results, the Guardian has learned.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Sciolus
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Re: Back to school

Post by Sciolus » Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:20 pm

jimbob wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:20 pm
And this is yet another reason why we should be moving classes online. There's a difference between normal lockdown and self-isolation. And it's also more fair if everyone is learning online, rather than the lottery that's happening now.
There are significant problems with online teaching, especially for more disadvantaged and vulnerable children. I doubt it's fairer -- less of a lottery but more systematic bias.

Luckily the government foresaw the likelihood of further disruption and made contingency plans last September. Oh wait, no: everyone else saw the likelihood of further disruption but the government just ploughed on blindly.

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