SAGE graph suggests teachers are at very low risk of catching coronavirus from kids – The Sun

A GRAPH from the Government's top scientists has revealed teachers are at a very low risk of catching coronavirus from children.

The data drop from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) comes as Government ministers try to assure parents and teachers it is safe for kids to head back to schools.

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The graph suggests that children are much less likely to pass the virus on to others even if they do catch it.

It comes alongside an evidence review used by UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health Professor Russell Viner looking at studies from Australian schools suggesting the chances of children passing on the virus were very unlikely.

The evidence in a document released by Downing street today said: "In primary school 6 cases resulted in 168 contacts and in one potential child contracting disease.

"In high schools, 12 cases had 695 contacts; ⅓ had contacts, all of which were negative.

"75 high school contacts had (antibody tests) 1 month after contact, with 1 student only (and no staff) having antibodies suggestive of infection."

But the documents also stressed that evidence on children transmitting the disease was inconclusive.

They said: "Evidence remains inconclusive on both the susceptibility and infectivity of children, but the balance of evidence suggests that both may be lower than in adults."

The documents also warned the impact lockdown was having on kids was causing a "shock" that would affect their work prospects for the rest of their lives.

Hardline teachers unions are in the middle of an almighty row with the Government over the reopening of schools on June 1, and have issued a 169 point checklist that must be fulfilled before teachers will go back to their posts.

The Joint Secretary of the National Education Union Dr Mary Bousted claimed the findings showed the planned return was “too soon”.

She said: “We think it’s just descending into chaos now and it’s not funny.

“The evidence is still not there, we now have the Independent Sage Committee saying give it two weeks then we’ll have half as much chance of catching the virus.

“This is just really confusing for parents, it’s very difficult for school leavers having to make decisions on inadequate scientific evidence.”

Only a handful of councils plan to reopen schools on June 1, leaving parents across the country in the dark over their children's education.

The final decision on whether or not to open up classrooms will fall to headteachers.

Analysis by The Sun showed at least 28 local authorities – which govern 2,269 primary schools – are preparing to defy Government advice and not reopen schools.

The information released by Sage runs contrary to a report released by a rival group of experts – the Independent Sage group – who said pushing the reopening of schools back by just two weeks would halve the risk to children. 

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Head teachers insist primary schools SHOULD reopen in June breaking ranks with teachings unions – The Sun

HEAD teachers are now backing the reopening of schools on June 1 as pressure is growing on unions over their refusal to let kids back to class.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled plans to let the first children back to school at the start of next month but faced a push back from some teachers.

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The head teachers' union the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has now said it will be advising its members to reopen schools on June 1, reports The Sunday Times.

It comes after its leaders met with the government's chief medical officer and chief scientific officer on Friday.

Other teaching unions have advised their members to not engage with the government's plans.

Ministers hope reopening schools will be a key step in getting Britain moving again as the country emerges from almost two months of coronavirus lockdown.

It is part of the second step in the government's three stage plan – with Mr Johnson laying out last weekend he hopes reception, year one and year six will return on June 1.

Critics of the plan have warned it is too early to send kids back as infection rates remain too high, with the National Education Union calling the plan "reckless".

Some plans are also being drawn up to have schools open throughout the holidays with "summer camps" to get kids' education back on track.

However, a survey revealed almost 700,000 state pupils are receiving no home lessons amid the lockdown.

In a poll of 900 heads across England, conducted by The Key, an information service for heads and governors, they found approaches were varying wildly across the country, reports The Mail on Sunday.

Extrapolating the results, it would mean around 335,580 primary children and 342,475 secondary children are in schools that are not setting any work.

The Campaign for Real Education said it was "outrageous and immoral" and said disadvantaged children risk being "thrown on the scrap heap".


The National Association of Head Teachers has also suggested it would back reopening primaries if it was given the government’s full scientific advice.

Five former education secretaries – Labour's Alan Johnson and Charles Clarke, along with Tories Nicky Morgan, Damian Hinds and Justine Greening – have also backed the phased reopening of schoools.

Other countries in Europe have already begun to reopen their schools, such as Denmark, France and Germany.

Ms Morgan said: "We know that there are children who rely on school for their hot meals and for teachers to be able to keep an eye on certain pupils to stop them coming to harm.

"Neither of these two things is currently happening."

Ms Greening added: "Despite many parents’ best efforts to keep education going in difficult circumstances, this time out of school will create an even bigger opportunity gap later.

"Our children and young people need to be back in school and other countries like Denmark show that it’s possible to put in place a workable plan."

Parents however remain fearful of sending their kids back to school, with 81 per cent of 20,000 surveyed by childcare.co.uk saying they will not send their kids back to school next month.

The government has already said it will not impose fines on those mums and dads who continue to keep their children out school due to the coronavirus.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 26 teachers and 10 teaching assistants have died of Covid-19 in England and Wales

Questions have been asked over how social distancing will work in schools – with them likely to have staggered start times and smaller classes.

Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, said: "There is a consequence to this, the longer the schools close the more children miss out.

“Teachers know that there are children out there that have not spoken or played with another child their own age for the last two months.”


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Teachers demand pupils are sprayed with DISINFECTANT as they brand plan to reopen schools from June 1 as 'reckless'

TEACHERS have demanded children be "sprayed front and back with disinfectant" at the school gates – as they reacted with alarm to the PM's announcement schools could reopen in three weeks.

Last night, Boris Johnson said a phased reopening of schools in England could potentially begin from June 1, if transmission can be reduced.

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As he announced plans to gradually loosen the lockdown, the Prime Minister said by June 1 "we believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with reception, Year One and Year Six".

Secondary schools are not likely to open again until at least September, although those facing exams will get some time with their teachers before the summer holidays.

But even this staggered approach caused alarm among school staff, with the leader of the largest teaching union calling it "reckless".

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How teachers are surviving coronavirus and distance learning

Tech ‘supplements’ teaching, learning through coronavirus: American Federation of Teachers President

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten discusses how educators are shifting learning methods during the coronavirus outbreak.

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This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, but because of the coronavirus, the celebrations will look very different.

There won’t be any classroom door decorations or cookies passed around the hallways by the PTA. Instead, the school buildings will be empty and locked with the lights off.

But just because teachers have been at home for the last several weeks — in some cases months — that doesn’t mean they haven’t been working harder than ever before.

“One of the biggest things that people need to be reminded of is how hard teachers are working at getting this right,” Drew X. Coles, a professor at Columbia University’s Teachers College, told FOX Business. “They're trying as hard as they possibly can and working as hard as they possibly can to catch up on a skill that they haven't had to utilize in this way ever before.”

HOW MUCH DO TEACHERS EARN IN THE US?

In order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, many states issued stay-at-home orders and encouraged practicing social distancing — which meant that in a very short period of time, schools started remote learning. Teachers had to quickly figure out how to use technology to teach their students from their homes instead of in a classroom.

“Overnight, these folks who were absolute experts on how to deliver something in a very traditional classroom had to get very creative,” Lily Eskelsen García, the president of the National Education Association, told FOX Business.

Colin Sharkey, the executive director of the Association of American Educators (AAE), said that at first, teachers in the AAE were overwhelmed by the number of emails and resources that were being sent to them, so the association sent a curated list of essential resources to its members.

Then teachers started asking for technology training.

“We really focused on trying to find easy, accessible trainings,” Sharkey told FOX Business. “And when we failed to find good enough ones, we just put on our own.”

“We actually had to keep increasing the size of … the virtual space to accommodate this immediate need for training, because teachers kind of buckled down and said, all right, if I have to do this, I want to know how to use Zoom or Google Classroom or what have you,” Sharkey added.

CORONAVIRUS CREATES FRESH CHALLENGES FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION

Even though teachers have learned how to use technology for their classes, it remains a challenge because the technology is developing quickly, Coles explained.

“They're catching up on the technological end while also trying to readjust the syllabi and the curricula that they had already made,” Coles said. “So all of those things considered, they're working overtime in a way that can't even be described well enough.”

Martin Urbach, a high school music teacher in Manhattan, has tried to focus on technology that’s accessible to all his students — not just the students who have laptops or computers at home — by asking his students to make playlists on Spotify or create videos on the social media site TikTok.

Urbach said he’s also trying to assign projects that can transform music education into something that helps his students during such a stressful time “without asking kids to write a 500-page essay on a song.”

“I feel all kinds of emotions about it,” Urbach told FOX Business. “I feel like I am not able to do all the things that I love about music teaching.”

So instead, he said, he’s trying to focus on connecting with his students and “seeing how I can help them.”

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Garcia said that at first, the teachers she spoke to in NEA were shocked by the sudden transition to remote learning and as time went on, they continued to experience a range of emotions, from frustration to fear for their students.

What’s helping them survive is solidarity with other teachers and the parents of their students, Garcia added.

In order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, school buildings across the country have been closed, forcing teachers to make the difficult switch to teaching remotely. (iStock)

She explained that in normal circumstances, teachers often feel isolated in their classrooms, but they now have the ability to call their colleagues to ask questions or brainstorm solutions.

“Ironically, that at this time of isolation, the importance of connection is right in front of us,” Garcia said.

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Sharkey said he’s also seen a strong sense of resolve among teachers in the AAE. When the coronavirus hit, the association conducted a survey of 1,000 of its teachers across the country.

One of the survey questions asked the teachers to agree or disagree with the statement: “I will get through this.”

“Only five said no,” Sharkey said. “I don't know what other field has that level of ‘I can do this.’”

“It feels understated just how well educators responded to what happened,” he added later. “We're hearing a lot of selflessness out of the challenges they're going through. It's not surprising, given the nature of the people that go into education.”

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