A worrying lack of evidence about the safety of reopening schools

An empty classroom

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay.

The Department of Education’s chief scientific adviser has not made any assessment on how effective the guidance on safe reopening of schools in England is or how it might be implemented.

As the BBC reports:

The government’s top scientific and medical advisers are being urged to publish the advice underpinning the decision to reopen England’s schools.

Liberal Democrat Layla Moran made the call in a letter to Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance.

On Wednesday, MPs were bemused when a Department for Education adviser indicated a lack of oversight over the way schools are being asked to reopen.

Osama Rahman said the decision to reopen schools was not made by the DfE.

When asked what assessment he had made, as the chief scientific adviser for the department, of how effective guidance on safe reopening of schools was and how it might be implemented, he said: “I haven’t.”…

He was also unable to point to any evidence behind the decision to reopen schools in a way that could be said to be safe.

That’s a worrying response from Osama Rahman, and shows the value of a functioning Parliament in which MPs can effectively hold the government to account.

More on this from BBC News:


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