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Boris Johnson says "absolutely every student needs to be back at school next week" during the virtual Q&A


Boris Johnson said "absolutely every student must be back in school by next week," as Dr. Jenny Harries stressed that the evidence on face coverings "is not very strong in either direction".

During a question-and-answer session with parents on Friday, the Prime Minister said it was important for students to return to school at the beginning of the next school year.

He added that if there are further local closures, schools will be "the very last piece of society we want to close" to avoid further disruptions to student education.

Boris Johnson said "absolutely every student needs to be back at school" during a Q&A with parents starting next week

Mr. Johnson said, “Absolutely every student must be back in school by the time schools return by next week and in the days that follow.

“Now is the time to safely return to school and the evidence is overwhelming that it is in the interests of the wellbeing and health of children, adolescents and students to be back in school rather than missing out more.

"So it's the healthy and safe thing."

On the possibility of local lockdowns, he added, “Even if there are more local lockdowns or more action to stop the spread of the disease locally, which I fear, it will almost certainly be because we expect more local spikes. Schools will bet on the very last piece of society we want to shut down. & # 39;

Dr. Jenny Harries, assistant medical director for England, also stressed that the evidence on face coverings is "not very strong in either direction".

This came after the government took an U-turn decision on face masks in schools, insisting that students or staff should not wear covers in classrooms.

Boris Johnson also assured parents that schools will be the “very last” thing in society they want to close in the event of further local lockdowns. Pictured, students are returning to St Paul & # 39; s High School in Glasgow on August 12

Boris Johnson also assured parents that schools will be the “very last” thing in society they want to close in the event of further local lockdowns. Pictured, students are returning to St Paul & # 39; s High School in Glasgow on August 12

Dr. Harries said, “The evidence on face covering is not very strong either way.

"We're continuing to learn … about how the virus is transmitted, and we may change advice in the future – that's because we're watching the science."

She added, "At the moment the evidence is pretty stable, but in these closed environments it can be very comforting for children and teachers alike to know that people are taking precautions."

During the question-and-answer session, Mr. Johnson and Dr. Harries questions from parents and other adults about the safety of schools in Covid.

How can you make sure schools are Covid-19 safe? Mark, Stoke-on-Trent

Mark from Stoke-on-Trent asked the Prime Minister how security measures protect employees who are clinically at risk or teachers who live with vulnerable people.

Mr Johnson assured parents that a number of measures have been taken to ensure schools in Covid remain safe and students adhere to safety regulations.

He said schools have put in place disposable systems and hand gel stations "installed everywhere they can".

Students are also given basic instructions to help contain the spread of the virus, including instructions to wash their hands, avoid transmission, and observe social distancing.

Mark from Stoke-on-Trent asked the Prime Minister how security measures in schools protect employees who are clinically vulnerable or who live with vulnerable people

Dr. Harries also stressed that transmission in schools was relatively low and reminded parents not to consider this to be flu.

Dr. Harries added: “There is a lot of evidence to suggest that transmission in schools is low. This can happen, but it is not common.

“It's much more likely to represent what's going on in your community than to really be a focus in school.

"So if there are cases in the community, you can occasionally see one in school."

She said that given the continued low transmission rates in the community, the school was a safe place for students because it was a "very controlled environment."

What preparations are you making to ensure that schooling and education are not similarly disrupted, even if physical attendance is disrupted by short-term local closings during the year? Jacqueline, Norwich

Mr Johnson said there will "almost certainly" be more local lockdowns across the country, but schools won't be the last slice of society the government wants to shut down.

Dr. Harries added to the Prime Minister's comments, saying parents and teachers shouldn't assume that the entire school will be affected if an individual student or teacher falls ill.

She said: "The whole purpose of security checkpoints at school is to ensure that, as the Prime Minister has said, we have bubbles or collections of children that are socially well delineated so that they can interact with one another, but not too far a group & # 39 ;.

Dr. Harries said parents and teachers shouldn't assume that the entire school will be affected if an individual student or teacher falls ill after the school reopens

Dr. Harries said parents and teachers shouldn't assume that the entire school will be affected if an individual student or teacher falls ill after the school reopens

She added that strict measures have been taken to ensure that a small group can be safely asked to self-isolate when necessary without putting the entire school at risk.

Mr Johnson added, “Even if there are more local lockdowns or more action to stop the spread of the disease locally, which I almost certainly fear because we expect more local spikes, schools should be the very last piece of society that we want to close again. & # 39;

How do you go about this when a child in a classroom becomes ill or suddenly has high temperatures? Do students and teachers have to self-isolate within the class for 14 days? Abdus, London

Dr. Harries said there are guides out there letting schools know how to best safely contact a parent, carer or guardian if a student has symptoms of coronavirus.

She added that teachers deal with illness in classrooms every day and are very good at dealing with illnesses and making sure children still feel safe in schools.

But she also said that a student who has symptoms of Covid should be sent home to self-isolate until he receives his test results.

Dr. Harries said that teachers deal with illness every day in classrooms as children are often a little sick and teachers are "very good at handling it."

Dr. Harries said that teachers deal with illness every day in classrooms as children are often a little sick and teachers are "very good at handling it."

She said, "If they have symptoms of Covid, parents should go online or call 119, take their test and self-isolate until they are sure the child does not have Covid."

Dr. Harries added that if the student is a positive case, a local health team will work with the school to identify the bladder and that the children will be carefully watched or left school if necessary.

What additional resources will schools, particularly secondary schools, be given to improve their ability to manage the psychological wellbeing of students and staff? Jakki, Cottingham

The government is putting £ 12 billion into post-lockdown mental health funding, Johnson said.

He added that this was a "massive increase" in funding and understood that children were facing fears during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Prime Minister said, "I really understand that in the 160 days of lockdown since our school closed, many, many children and young people will no doubt be exposed to stresses that have impacted their mental health."

Mr Johnson said the government is "massively increasing" funding for mental health care and allocating £ 12 billion for that purpose

Mr Johnson said the government is "massively increasing" funding for mental health care and allocating £ 12 billion for that purpose

He added that the government will also support local charities that help young people deal with mental health issues.

Teachers and other staff are also encouraged to undergo mental health training to become aware of these issues.

The government has now announced that children should wear face covers. But what about children who are deaf or need lip reading? Charlotte, Buckinghamshire

The government had previously made an about-face decision in which it said that face coverings should not be worn by teachers or students in classrooms.

The prime minister reiterated that earlier decision, saying that wearing face masks made both learning and teaching difficult.

He said, “There's no need for it, in fact there's a need not to have it, Charlotte, because obviously it's very, very difficult to teach or learn with a face mask. And so that's out. & # 39;

Dr. Harries assured Charlotte, who has a deaf son, that it is “perfectly right” for people with disabilities to remove face coverings in areas where it is mandatory

Dr. Harries assured Charlotte, who has a deaf son, that it is “perfectly right” for people with disabilities to remove face coverings in areas where it is mandatory

Dr. Harries (above) and Mr Johnson both reiterated the government's earlier U-turn decision to eliminate the need to wear student face masks in classrooms

Dr. Harries (above) and Mr Johnson both reiterated the government's earlier U-turn decision to eliminate the need to wear student face masks in classrooms

Children under the age of 11 are not required to wear any face covering in schools. Restrictions only apply to secondary school students.

In hotspot areas where there is a local coronavirus spike, face masks may need to be worn in schools in corridors or other areas where social distancing cannot be observed.

But Mr Johnson added that those who rely on lip reading or have other sensory disabilities should be able to read lips and "live life as normally as possible".

Dr. Harries assured Charlotte, who has a son who is deaf, that it is "perfectly right" for people who rely on lip reading to remove face coverings in areas where it is mandatory "if they can safely do it" .

She added: “We have to be very kind and think carefully about perhaps inadvertently criticizing those who are grappling with some divisions. And that's especially true for face coverings. & # 39;

Dr. Harries spoke more generally of face covering, saying, “The evidence for face covering is not very strong either way.

"We're continuing to learn … about how the virus is transmitted, and we may change advice in the future – that's because we're watching the science."

The final round of questions comes shortly after confirmation that almost 100% of schools plan to welcome students back at the beginning of the fall semester.

In the 3% of cases, schools have no students back because they are planning transition periods for new students or gradual entry to ease student anxiety, according to the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT).

The school leaders' union carried out a survey a week before the first day of school and more than 4,000 school leaders responded – 4,090 in total, mostly in England, 143 in Wales.

The NAHT data show that 96% organize regular additional cleaning of classrooms and school buildings, 96% create and maintain student bubble groups, 93% lunch and break times and 87% start and end times for students.

The final round of questions (above) takes place shortly after confirmation that almost 100% of schools plan to welcome students back at the beginning of the fall semester

The final round of questions (above) takes place shortly after confirmation that almost 100% of schools plan to welcome students back at the beginning of the fall semester

The data also suggest that 83% install signs for direct students and parents and 79% install additional hand washing or hand sanitizing equipment.

NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman said the union's numbers showed school principals and their teams worked “incredibly hard” over the summer to prepare schools for the fall semester.

He also called on the government to provide clear guidelines for possible local lockdowns.

He said, “You don't need a crystal ball to see that local restrictions are a feature of autumn and winter.

“We have seen them in some regions of the UK. We're just asking the government to meet us halfway.

“We did everything to get ready, but we can't have any last minute plans.

“Last minute contingencies have been the cause of havoc so far, but a credible, widespread, and well understood set of alternatives for schools in the event of a lockdown will not only give us something to work with, but will help everyone still To calm living families nervous to come back on the first day. & # 39;

And one school principal said schools are responsible for creating a "safest environment" to get the children back into class.

Fiona Chapman, executive director of the Ark Charter Academy and Ark Dickens Primary Academy in Portsmouth, Hampshire, said it was crucial to keep parents and students informed of measures to prevent Covid-19.

She explained that Charter Academy's secondary school kept students in year bubbles and spent their days studying in "home rooms" with the exception of key fourth students who would switch between subject rooms that were cleaned regularly.

In the 3% of cases, schools have no students back as they gradually cease entry to ease student anxiety, according to the National Association of Head Teachers (file photo)

In the 3% of cases, schools have no students back as they gradually cease entry to ease student anxiety, according to the National Association of Head Teachers (file photo)

The school of 900 students uses antiviral fog machines to sanitize classrooms between different groups with hand sanitizing stations set up around the school.

All children and staff must wear face masks in school corridors, but not in classrooms.

Ms. Chapman said: “We are very fortunate that we have not had any Covid-19 incidents on site and we are very keen that it will stay that way.

“In such an environment, you need to create the safest possible environment. Our job is to stay open and provide our students with a school and an education. It seems to us only a small step to ask our students to wear masks during transit.

“We are very interested in reducing as much risk as possible. We'd like to embed it too. It's part of everyday life. It is the new normal now.

"If these government guidelines change or we become a local restricted area, which Portsmouth hopefully doesn't, the students are well used to putting on their face masks."

Ms. Chapman said staff were involved in the risk assessment to make sure they felt safe going back to school.

She said: “We expect 100% of the employees back, they look forward to their return, they look forward to being back on site together. That's a certain amount of excitement.

“There is the knowledge that things are different, social distancing from the staff is important, but it is important to give the kids as much normalcy as possible, get them back into class and get them back to learning how this possibly will be long term. & # 39;

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Boris Johnson (t) Dr. Jenny Harries