Sir Keir Starmer has urged elementary schools to reopen in England as soon as possible, as he has revealed that his own children attended all classes during the closure.
The Labor leader said his 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter would still go to state school in North London, as his wife Victoria is a key employee of the NHS.
He said he hoped children across England could return to school next month, but added “it should be safe.”
It is like British education unions urged the government on Friday to reconsider its plans to reopen schools for younger students in the week of June 1.
However, Sir Keir said it was important for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and those who oppose the reopening, led by the hardline National Education Union, to reach a consensus on how to bring students back into the classroom.
Sir Keir Starmer (left) has revealed that his 11-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter are still attending state school in North London because his wife Victoria (right) is an NHS key worker
Speaking on the Telegraph’s Chopper’s Politics podcast, Sir Keir said, ‘Our kids have been all over school [the lockdown] and it recalls that this perception that schools are currently closed and whether we open them is open.
‘They are currently open, teachers and employees are on the frontline every day. The question is, can we increase the number of children going back to school, and I want that to happen as soon as possible. But it must of course be safe. ‘
Sir Keir added, “The prime minister’s job is to build consensus, to give people confidence. Most of the polls I’ve seen show that parents are about 50/50, they are genuinely concerned … Instead of highlighting the differences here, the prime minister needs to assemble a working group and say “well, we lead from the front “. ‘
Sir Keir’s comments came the day a large study found that children were half as likely to catch Covid-19, and leading scientists said the results “strongly indicated a return to school.”
Researchers at University College London found that 56 percent were less likely to have coronavirus under the age of 20, and concluded that “children are the safest group in the community.”
Mr. Johnson wants Primaries in England to go back to class from a week on Monday at the front desk, year 1 and year 6, while others will have a “phased” restart.
Data shows that children make up a small proportion of hospital patients with COVID-19 and an even smaller number of deaths from the coronavirus. Experts say children seem to have a lower risk of contracting and spreading the disease
An assessment of different models of the impact of changes on the R percentage shows that, on a scale from zero to one, the impact would be 0.24 if the classes were split and attended weeks alternately
But it has raised concerns with some teachers and parents as the mortality rate in Britain, with over 36,000 already the highest in Europe, is increasing by hundreds every day.
Mr. Johnson said this week that he had “growing confidence” that there would be a tracking arrangement on June 1, but questions remain as to whether this is possible.
Several local authorities in England have said they are unlikely to reopen schools early next month.
Education is a decentralized matter for the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Yesterday, government SAGE experts warned that the “shock” of school closings is destroying a generation and suggested that children are at low risk from coronavirus.
Data submitted by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergency Situations shows that young people are more damaged as a result of their education being discontinued.
The documents drive the idea of splitting classes in two and having children go to school every other week, noting that this could lessen the effect on the ‘R’ number.
This is how remote social offices will look at Holywell Village First School in Northumberland
Ministers hope that the publication of the documents will reassure the public about plans to reopen schools from 1 June.
However, unions emphasized that the SAGE evidence was “inconclusive” and demanded postponement.
Speaking at the Downing Street briefing tonight, chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance said school reopening is likely to raise the R rate.
But he stressed that this was the case with any change to the lockout, and schools were “not a risk area for R.”
He said that coronavirus was a “long-term epidemic” and that “at some point, schools have to go back to educate our youth.”
Leading Cambridge University expert says the risk for children who catch COVID-19 is “incredibly low.”
The risk of children contracting coronavirus is “incredibly low,” according to one of the UK’s top experts.
Outstanding statistician Sir David Spiegelhalter said data has also shown that teachers are not at greater risk of becoming infected.
The University of Cambridge professor’s testimony comes amid an explosive argument over school reopening next month.
Professor Spiegelhalter pointed out that only one in 7 million children aged 4 to 14 in England and Wales died of COVID-19.
He also claimed that children carry only a fraction of the viral load compared to adults, which significantly reduces their ability to get sick or infect others.
Professor Spiegelhalter told the BBC: “Based on the data to date, there are extremely low risks for children. Of the 7 million 5- to 14-year-olds in England and Wales, the number of death certificates with Covid has so far been one.
“There will be more [that haven’t been confirmed], but there is still an extremely low risk. Of course, we must remember that this group of children is generally astonishingly safe, fewer than one in 10,000 die every year. No one has ever been safer in the history of humanity than this group of children. ‘
Professor Spiegelhalter said at least one child had died of a rare inflammatory disease related to the coronavirus, but assured parents that the risk of the complication would now be “much lower now that the epidemic in the community is under control.”
When asked whether teachers and parents were endangered by reopening schools, the Cambridge professor said the data did not suggest.
He added, “The Office for National Statistics analyzed Covid risks by occupation – some have higher risks, including bus drivers and nursing home workers.” But teachers didn’t fall into this category, he said.
Of course, people are concerned about the rest of the family, but among healthy young parents between the ages of 20 and 40, so far there have been only 30 deaths out of 30,000 who have no existing conditions.
“There is a chance of death of about three in a million. That’s a measurable risk, but in a way it’s a manageable risk … it’s not overwhelming at all. ‘
Sir Patrick said, “The risk to children (from coronavirus) is much lower – we know that.
“They are low risk, but not zero risk and of course there have been some serious cases of children, but very little compared to adults and older age groups.
“The greater risk when opening schools is that as soon as you introduce a contact, you put pressure on the R and you press numbers, and that goes for everything we’re going to do in terms of contact changes.”
He also delivered a shot over the bow of the government, noting that it was important to have a test in the track when changing the lock.
Many of the concerns about school return seem to outweigh the domino impact on social distance, with a greater mix of families and parents returning to work.
A paper made for a SAGE subgroup in schools before April 16 warns that “a cohort of children has experienced a shock from their education that will affect their educational and work outcomes for the rest of their lives.”
“Likewise, the current closure could lead to an increase in adverse childhood experiences … for example: domestic violence, poor mental health of parents, child neglect, or abuse.”
The report, prepared by experts from University College London, King’s College London, London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine and the University of Exeter, said that such experiences are ‘associated with poorer long-term health outcomes and likely existing social inequalities (e.g. over hardship) ‘.
The group said it “cannot be clear” to what extent schools can be reopened without feeding the virus.
While the risk for students returning to school was “very, very small,” it was “not zero.”
An assessment of different models of the impact of changes on the R percentage shows that, on a scale from zero to one, the impact would be 0.24 if lessons were split and attended alternately.
If half of the class entered in the morning and mid-afternoon, that would rise to 0.4. The maximum impact would be if schools returned completely.
A behavioral insight meeting document on May 1 said: ‘Although not initially one of the options proposed by DfE, options 7b (classes divided into two, with children attending weeks alternately) emerged from the joint discussions as special potential for further consideration. . ”
The findings are likely to contribute to discussions with unions about whether it is safe for children to return and whether it can be achieved without causing a new flare-up of the virus.
The files emerged as the source of SAGE, claiming that the government’s plans to reopen primary schools are based more on welfare issues than on evidence that younger students are less vulnerable.
In the first phase of his back-to-school blueprint, Boris Johnson wants children in England to go back to class on June 1 at reception at year 1 and year 6.
However, the exact form of the reopening remains with the head teachers.
Education unions are threatening to boycott the security fears movement, while many councils have said they will not be in step.
Children have half the chance of contracting the coronavirus as adults, leading British scientists discovered (elementary school children in Nice, France)