Prompted by the EIS and local Labour folk, our media have delighted in stirring up anxiety and implying that the SNP schools strategy must be flawed.
The facts are in. The above is rubbish:
A summary of the latest evidence on coronavirus (COVID-19) in schools has been published. The paper, from the COVID-19 Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues, looks at the risks posed by the virus to pupils and staff, and the benefits to children and young people of schools remaining open.
- the rate of coronavirus-related sickness among pupils is low across the country – at 12 November, this represented about 0.1% of all pupils
- there is no direct evidence that transmission of the virus within schools plays a significant role in driving rates of infection among children
- data found there is no difference between COVID-19 positivity rates in teachers and school staff relative to other worker groups of the same age
- closing schools presents a serious risk of harm to the wellbeing of children and young people, particularly those who are vulnerable
- more than 75% of schools in Scotland did not have any pupils who tested positive for COVID-19 in the first term of the school year. Rises in positive cases in the last three weeks of term coincided with an increase in community prevalence across all adult age groups.
Professor Devi Sridhar, Chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh and a member of the COVID-19 Sub-Group, said:
The overwhelming evidence from across the world is that children are safest in school and that school closures increase educational inequalities and have long-term detrimental outcomes for young people. Scotland’s success in providing primary and secondary children full-time, in-person learning from mid-August should be an example for other countries in the world deciding their schools policy. The key factor in keeping schools open and safe is to reduce community prevalence by ensuring appropriate public health measures and restrictions are put in place to reduce community transmission.
Schools not out.