How LBC highlighted the Covid bubble issue in schools

29 June 2021, 17:43

Over the past couple of days LBC has been inundated with calls on the subject of the Government's Covid-19 isolation rules for schoolchildren
Over the past couple of days LBC has been inundated with calls on the subject of the Government's Covid-19 isolation rules for schoolchildren. Picture: LBC/PA

By Sam Sholli

Over the past couple of days LBC has been inundated with calls on the subject of the Government's Covid-19 isolation rules for schoolchildren.

Latest figures from the Department of Education show that, as of 17 June, 2.3 per cent of all state school students were self-isolating due to possible exposure to Covid-19 in school.

Education minister Nick Gibb has told LBC that a trial has been carried out in schools to see if daily testing can replace the requirement for children to isolate.

LBC's coverage started with LBC's Rachel Johnson urging the Government to rethink the rules, arguing that parents were "tearing their hair out" over their children being "at home the entire time" due to another classmate testing positive for Covid-19.

Rachel said: "This isn't so much about health, it's about education, which is these children's human right, which is going to be deprived for yet more long weeks during the summer term, when it should be about sports days and end of term things and outdoor activities.

"Instead, that's yet again something that the younger generation of kids in schools are being deprived of, are lacking, are going without and I just think one little change to that policy could probably solve this huge problem at a stroke."

On Monday, LBC's Nick Ferrari branded it "extraordinary" that pupils are losing millions of school days due to being forced to self-isolate.

Nick spoke to caller Chris from Bristol, who told LBC his son was currently having to self-isolate with his whole year facing similar restrictions.

Chris told Nick that 300 children in his son's school were being forced to self-isolate because one person in the entire year group tested positive for Covid-19.

"Three hundred children?" Nick asked before labelling the situation "absurd".

READ MORE: 375,000 pupils absent under Covid school rules

A clinical epidemiologist has also told Shelagh Fogarty that there needs to be a "rethink" of the Government's Covid-19 isolation rules for schools.

Speaking of self-isolation rules for schoolchildren, Dr Raghib Ali told LBC: "I mean my kids have been affected by this as well, as have most parents and their children over the last few months.

"So I think we do need to rethink the rules on bubbles because it's causing a lot of disruption to children who have suffered a lot already.

"And it has an impact on parents of course as well. So my own view is that we should make more use of testing.

READ MORE: 'Children are being blamed': Calls for change to Covid isolation rules in schools

"Even the lateral flow tests, I mean they're not as sensitive as PCR [tests]. But for this situation, I think they are really good enough."

James O'Brien also had an exchange with a caller in Austria who spoke to him about how the country is coping with Covid in schools.

Having heard from the caller, James said: "It sounds as if the authorities are doing everything they can to get people back into school."

James also quipped: "This is why we're not hearing about what's going on in other countries, isn't it?"

READ MORE: LBC Views: Life chances of the next generation could be irreparably damaged