Children are "not the primary drivers of Covid-19 spread" in schools, data says

18 May 2020, 09:28

According to a study, children are "not the primary drivers of Covid-19 spread" in schools
According to a study, children are "not the primary drivers of Covid-19 spread" in schools. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A study reportedly being considered by the Government has found that children are "not the primary drivers of Covid-19 spread" in schools.

A senior member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has told the Daily Telegraph newspaper the Government have been looking an Australian study.

Authorities are considering a phased reopening of primary schools from June 1 after they went into lockdown due to coronavirus.

A paper which studied all the coronavirus cases in schools in New South Wales found that "children are not the primary drivers of Covid-19 spread in schools or in the community. This is consistent with data from international studies showing low rates of disease in children and suggesting limited spread among children and from children to adults".

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The paper by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance was reported by the Daily Telegraph as being a "very useful and interesting piece of research" according to the Sage source.

The news comes after England's deputy chief medical officers Dr Jenny Harries said Sage had modelled seven different scenarios for reopening schools.

But, as we reported earlier, a survey has suggested poorer families are less likely to want to send their children back to school despite these pupils having fewer opportunities for home learning.

Read more: Poorer families 'less likely' to return children to class, report finds

Pupils from the wealthiest families will have done seven full school days' worth of extra home learning by June 1, according to an Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report.

If children do not go back to school until September, the gap between the most affluent and the poorest pupils will double to three school weeks, the study warns.

And chief executives of 22 academy trusts have warned schools must reopen soon to avoid "irreparable" damage to vulnerable children.

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