Desperate One Teacher and her app story

I suspect some former readers may have tired of my worrying of the Herald. I have stopped chasing the Scotsman around the field of media because it’s a hopeless case but the Herald is not all bad for the cause.

So, I’m going to keep on nipping at its heels (heels like you know who) for now.

The above is a well-rotted piece that needs nipped off toot suit.

It’s just this kind of thing:

  • One secondary teacher told the Herald
  • It comes amid claims
  • There have also been reports
  • “I think we’re all feeling that nobody cares about us,” said the teacher
  • Members had raised fears

Not in the Herald report, this:

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.

It shows:

  • 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.

Or this?

Based on some ‘new figures’ where of course we don’t get to see the raw numbers, the Herald/EIS team is pushing hard on closing schools and closing down the SNP Government’s reputation for pandemic management while just ignoring yesterday’s report revealing that only 0.1% of pupils were infected, that 75% of schools had no infections and that teachers were no more at risk than any other workers.

After shocking us with the news that, as cases, were surging across the country, they were also up in Schools, they present their top piece of evidence:

The highest positive test rates are seen among S5/6 pupils where in October they reached 129 per 100 000.

Here’s some background.

There are less than 100 000, S5/6 pupils, spread across 357 schools in Scotland.

They’re often taught in much smaller classes than other levels so that spacing is feasible.

Senior pupils are expected to wear face masks in Leve 3 and 4 areas.

Finally, how does 129 per 100 000 compare with the rates faced by the communities outside of those classrooms?

Positive tests by local authority. Weekly rates per 100k.  Levels: Red (4), Purple (3), Blue (2), Pink (1), Green (0). Showing rates for 14 November. Colour coding based on levels announced on 17 November.

So, infection levels in a typical S5/6 class with 10 or so pupils, spaced out, wearing face masks and not shouting, we hope, like those in the garage or warehouse nearby, are much lower than those outside?

11 thoughts on “Desperate One Teacher and her app story

  1. Sorry about this John but I thought you might like to know.

    They must have had a lot of complaints about this story going by the reply I got from them.

    Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:
    The recipient’s mailbox is full and can’t accept messages now. Please try resending this message later, or contact the recipient directly.

    Anyway you have a nice day and don’t let the Barstewards wear you down.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Given that there are, at most, 60 000 S5/6 students in Scotland and, if the infection rate is 129 per 100 000, suggests, at most, 80 infected young people. There are c350 secondary schools in Scotland, so less than 1 school in 4, has one student who is infected.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Is the colour coding for the Tier Levels in the graph correct?

    For a start there are 5 Levels quoted in the key, BUT there are only 4 colours in the graph. (Pink is missing and order doesnt make sense)

    Is this an NHS Scotland error or a BBC manipulation?


    1. No local authority area is in Level Zero hence the colour corresponding to that level does not appear on the diagram but the colour is in the key.
      Midlothian was supposed to go into Level but a late surge in cases meant that it was put into level 3 on Tuesday. Hence the apparent mis-match between colour and position. Not sure about Clackmannan.
      Dont know the date of this diagram but think it comes from PHS Scotland site.


      1. Fair point about no areas at Tier 0 .

        My steam driven tablet displayed the Purple on the graph as Blue. After checking it out on a recent smart phone, it’s clearly purple.


  4. I’m a several times a day visitor and would just like to congratulate you on your dogged determination to keep us updated with regard to the many untruths and downright lies publicised relentlessly by our good old media. It really is much appreciated; thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Another thing mentioned in the Herald article was staff shortages due to absences. But no mention of the extra money the SG has given to Local Councils to appoint additional teachers. For example, Glasgow has hired an additional 180 teachers and other LCs are busy appointing additional staff.

    There were 52,247 teachers at the census in Sept 2019 and 697989 school pupils. From the data for 24th Nov 2020 published by the Education Recovery Group which advises the SG the attendance at Local Council schools was 89.9%. In Sept 2019 the attendance was 93% or so.

    Pupils not in school for NON-Covid related reasons was 6.3%. Pupils not in school for Covid related reasons was 3.8%. Teaching staff absent for Covid related reasons was 1502 and other staff absentees equalled 1025

    Not quite the apocalyptic picture painted by the Herald and it’s one teacher.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Damned if they do damned if they don’t, the ScotGov can do no right when it comes to the BritNat media.
    Has the Herald asked the private schools what their infection rates are?
    It can’t be zero can it? Who regulates them anyway? Boarding schools? Kids wouldn’t be able to distance, it’s surely a bit of an issue and of course how that would affect the community spread. What’s are the private schools doing to minimise risk to pupils, teachers and the community? Is the Herald asking them?


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