The ‘Back to school whatever the cost squad’ demolished across social media

This, passed to me by @Sheilz4indy, simply and utterly smashes the campaign to undermine the Scottish Government’s strategy for schools, by Lord MacConnell of that trough, Jackson Carlaw, BBC Scotland and others too wee to mention:

17 thoughts on “The ‘Back to school whatever the cost squad’ demolished across social media

  1. UK government circumvents the advice of SAGE not to reduce social distance from 2 to 1 metre.
    Tweet from the Independent sage Group

    NEW: The Independent SAGE has responded to yesterday’s news that the government is expected to announce relaxing of 2-metre rule. We have reviewed the scientific evidence & believe it is too soon. Transmission is still too high. A functioning tracing system is not in place
    Independent SAGE
    We also draw the public’s attention to the SAGE report published on Friday night. SAGE & Independent SAGE are in agreement about the risk of indoor transmission & the importance of physical distancing.
    Independent SAGE
    As we say in our latest review, ‘we note that the Govt has chosen to circumvent the recommendation of SAGE not to reduce social distancing by commissioning their own review alongside economic advice. The most recent SAGE review clearly recommends 2m is safest distance indoors’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Independent SAGE
    Independent SAGE has reviewed the evidence on social distancing. We believe rate of transmission is still too high to relax the rules. Tomorrow’s expected announcement will effectively end all social distancing & signal a ‘return to normal’. We urge govt to publish its evidence”


  3. Whitty can’t be comfortable in this position.

    “Susan Michie
    Jun 19
    Without a functioning #TestTraceIsolate system & against @WHO advice & w/o published SAGE advice & in view of report from @IndependentSage, with deaths & R little changed over last ks do you really think this is an evidence-based, responsible action?

    Quote Tweet

    Professor Chris Whitty
    · Jun 19
    Today the UK CMOs changed the COVID alert level from Level 4 to Level 3.

    This reflects steady and continuing reduction in infection due to the efforts of the public. The pandemic is not over and we must all keep to social distancing rules to continue this improvement.…


  4. Just 100 years?

    Sir David King from
    : “This is the most disastrous handling of any serious challenge to a government for 100 years.”


  5. Difficult to believe that McConnell and the bbc are unaware of the the sage, WHO and independent sage advice given over the last few days. What is there motivation. Is it to ensure that Scotland’s excess death rate begins to match England’s, is it just political or is it to assist business owners, because the reality is that whatever benefit business gets it will be extremely short lived. The collateral damage is of course the people of Scotland.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. For Bryan (and others) regarding sources to support the ’24 schools in England’ claim, see this:

    As indicated in this article for the TuSC on 20 June, Public Health England’s (PHE) latest ‘Weekly Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Surveillance Report, for week 24 (data between 08 June and 14 June 2020 …)’ is relevant . A link is given.

    Based on this source, the educational news bulletin, School Week on 18 June published an article under the headline ‘Suspected covid-19 outbreaks in schools rise by 70%’. It records that: “Public Health England’s weekly COVID-19 surveillance report, published today, shows the number of acute respiratory outbreaks in schools rose from 14 to 24 – putting schools on the same number of suspected outbreaks recorded in hospitals.”

    These sources confirm 24 new outbreaks in English schools: they do NOT provide confirmation that all led to school closures. However I did mention a couple of individual closures in my article.

    The PHE’s weekly surveillance reports will be worthwhile tracking.


  7. This from the online Guardian 1hour ago. Let’s see how much uproar it causes…or not

    “”School exams could be delayed next summer to allow more teaching time, MPs told
    Sally Weale Sally Weale
    The government is considering delaying the 2021 summer exams because of the disruption caused by Covid, Gavin Williamson, the education secretary for England, confirmed in the Commons.

    He told MPs the government would be consulting with exams watchdog Ofqual to push back the exam dates to later in the summer to maximise teaching time.””


  8. I expect that Baron McConnell supports the UK government ‘s action on schools. Even though Independent Sage member, Professor Pollock is saying this in the BMJ.

    “Local health protection teams have traced nearly eight times more contacts (77 642) than the national call centres and online service (9997), latest figures show.1

    The NHS Test and Trace system brings together the local health protection teams that handle complex cases, and the national call centre and online system—run by two private companies, Serco and Sitel.

    The contracts awarded to operate test and trace are reportedly worth £108m (€120m; $134m) in total,2 and some experts have said this money would have been better spent on resourcing and funding local public health teams, who were already in place and could have led the initiative.

    The system began on 28 May 2020 and until 10 June it had attempted to contact 14 045 covid-19 positive people, of whom 72.6% (10 192) were reached and asked to provide details of their recent close contacts. From this, 96 746 people were identified as close contacts and 87 639 were reached (90.6%).

    Between 31 May and 13 June, however, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that 33 000 people tested positive for covid-19 in England.3 This suggests that potentially half of the cases are being missed by the contact tracing service.

    Additionally, when the numbers of contacts identified by the system are broken down by who handled them, significantly more came from local health teams than the national centres and website. According to the latest report (18 June), of 87 639 close contacts that were reached, only 9997 were non-complex cases handled by the national teams. This means the remaining 77642 were complex cases handled by local teams.

    In a statement, the Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (iSAGE) said, “This raises serious questions about the efficiency and value for money of the contracts and highlights the vital role being played by the public health teams in track and trace.”

    The group also pointed to “extensive data gaps” in the report. “This means we cannot tell how well the system is working. The actual number of daily and weekly cases in the community is unknown because testing has been chaotic and haphazard, and the methodology is now being revised. Because of this we don’t know how many cases have been missed and have not been transferred for contact tracing. ONS survey data suggests there are many missing cases.”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. If we ever wanted further evidence that liars lie.
    Here is the New York Times with separate England and Scotland data.
    Although they give more cases per capita in Scotland the deaths are less.
    This is even with Scotland counting all know deaths.

    Cases Per 100,000 Deaths Per 100,000
    158,940 284 38,138 68
    18,156 334 2,472 45


  10. Sarah-Jane Marsh is Director of Testing, NHS Test and Trace. Usually CEO of
    @BWC_NHS and Chair of the NHS Maternity and Children & Young People’s Transformation Programmes. Here , a tweet she has made about the testing being done in England is picked up and analysed by Gabriel Scally, Public health physician, Visiting Professor of Public Health at Uni of Bristol. President of Epidemiology & Public Health section, Royal Society of Medicine.

    I am worried that you might be being misled. As Director of Testing for NHS Test and Trace it is important, for all our sakes that you are using the right figures. You said 70% of people are asymptomatic and pointed to ONS as a source. But…1/4

    Replying to
    Commentary from ONS on their data on 12th June could certainly give the impression that 70% (actually 67%) of people who tested +ve had no symptoms. But that only refers to the day they tested +ve, and to the day when they were last tested & the day of their next test. 2/4

    This is made clear in the dataset that is published one week later by ONS where it clearly says that the data refers to: ‘Individuals reporting any symptoms on the day of the test’. 3/4

    If those testing +ve have more than one test there may well be a substantial gap, as participants are tested either weekly or monthly. So I don’t think 70% of people being asymptomatic is anywhere near correct, which should make your job easier. Do tell me if I am wrong. 4/4 “


  11. A lot of parents are in a real bind here. Of course, some depend on schools for child-minding duties. That’s not all they think schools are for but it’s a bit of it and it would be foolish to deny it. And yes, by and large they support the Scottish Government’s approach to C-19.

    My niece has just finished 4 years of training at college. She’s now qualified to do hairdressing, make-up and nails and is part of a large group (of 15 people) all similarly qualified who travel the country preparing groups for weddings, christenings, anniversary and birthday parties, etc. They also do theatrical and TV make-up on site. If you think this is a small time business, think again! Their clients will happily pay £150 each for hair extensions for a family event. Yeah, it’s all Dutch to me too but it fair brings in the cash. This autumn, she was all set to keep that going as well as having a chair at a local hairdressing salon on a Saturday and dipping her toe in the water of teaching as a college instructor.

    Things are not looking too good for her. She and her partner converted their garage into a granny flat and her mother has moved in. But granny has a whole range of health issues and has effectively become another child to be looked after, rather than a helper.

    Their oldest child, going into S2, has been offered 1 day a week at his Glasgow secondary school. He’s not a fan of school at the best of times and has resisted most attempts to get him engaged in online learning. He needs teachers. Their 2nd child is going into P7 and has been offered 2 days week at school, as has her wee brother going into P2. Both of them love school and do any school work that comes their way but they need direction and they miss their pals. There’s also no way of knowing if the kids’ days at school will coincide or if my niece’s career plans can come to anything.

    But what about “blended learning?” I hear you ask. Another family member who teaches in a private school, tells me he has spend a whole term preparing lessons to deliver online, making up and mailing out homework assignments and then marking the replies (all years up to S6), only to find about 30% of the school population failing to take part. So he spends hours of his “free” time phoning parents to try to get them onside. Where my niece’s family is concerned, how many families do you know that have 3 laptops?


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