Boris's school reopening plans in chaos as top scientific adviser admits there is 'low confidence' pupils cannot spread coronavirus and ministers have NO idea if it will trigger a second wave in 'disturbing' Commons appearance

Boris Johnson's plans to reopen schools were in chaos last night after the Department for Education's top scientist admitted they had 'not done any modelling' on virus transmission in classes.
Osama Rahman also admitted that the decision to reopen has been taken by the Cabinet not the department, adding the current advice is a 'draft' and 'will be developed'.
Mr Rahman's testimony will provide ammunition to teaching unions, the majority of which have already rejected the Government's June 1 starting date.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson dismissed concerns as 'scaremongering'.
Osama Rahman admitted children could become dangerous super spreaders because they suffer mild or no symptoms
Pictured: Boris Johnson during Prime Minister Questions at the House of Commons in London, Britain, 13 May 2020, as the lockdown eases
Pictured right: Boris Johnson during Prime Minister Questions at the House of Commons in London, Britain, 13 May 2020, as the lockdown eases. Pictured, left: Osama Rahman, whose admissions today left unions shocked  
But answers provided by Mr Rahman – the chief scientific adviser to Education Secretary Gavin Williamson – to Parliament's Science and Technology Committee yesterday left many MPs baffled. 
Mr Rahman, an economist, struggled to spell out the 'evidence base' underpinning the decision to reopen.

He also said he did not know if the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) had issued advice on whether personal protective equipment (PPE) was necessary in schools. He was also unaware how many under-18s have died from Covid-19.
Mr Rahman said that a 'bunch of conditions' still needed to be fulfilled to restart safely.
Puzzled Tory MP Robert Halfon, chairman of the Education Select Committee, asked him: 'Surely you must have the scientific evidence – you're able to tell me the base underpinning the department's decision to reopen schools to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 first?' 
In response, Mr Rahman said: 'That was not a departmental decision. That was a Cabinet decision following advice from Sage via the Government's chief scientific adviser and CMO [chief medical officer].'
National Education Union chief Dr Mary Bousted, who opposes a June 1 reopening, said his evidence was 'staggering and frightening'.
Dr Patrick Roach, NASUWT general secretary, said: 'The admissions are truly shocking and disturbing. The Government has simply not provided a single shred of evidence that opening schools from June 1 will be safe for children or teachers.
'The Government's health and safety guidance to make schools 'COVID-19-secure' is also woefully inadequate, and has done nothing to assure teachers or parents that it will be safe for schools to open to more children,' he said.
'Schools have been placed in a situation where the wrong decision will result in people becoming seriously ill and dying.
'The Government must now publish the scientific evidence it is relying on to claim that it will be safe for children to return to schools from June 1st.'
Education advisor warns of potential spike when schools reopen
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Advisor claims no modelling has been done on reopening schools
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Schools like this one in Altrincham have stayed open for vulnerable children and key worker families, but ministers want more pupils to return from June 1
Schools like this one in Altrincham have stayed open for vulnerable children and key worker families, but ministers want more pupils to return from June 1 
Gavin Williamson says schools will reopen in 'phased manner'
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Speaking at a virtual House of Commons Science and Technology Committee meeting today, Mr Rahman (left) was grilled
By SNP MP Carol Monaghan
Speaking at a virtual House of Commons Science and Technology Committee meeting today, Mr Rahman (left) was grilled by SNP MP Carol Monaghan (right)

Mr Rahman, who said he had attended ten meetings of Sage, also claimed there was a 'low degree of confidence' in evidence that children transmit Covid-19 any less than adults.
He said: 'There are some studies which suggest that they might transmit it less than adults but this evidence is mixed, it's quite early and so there is a low degree of confidence among Sage in the evidence which suggests that they might transmit it less.'

'The view is that there is no evidence that children transmit virus more than adults, some studies that they might transmit it less than adults. But this science is mixed, and it's quite early.'
He said the Department for Education had 'not done any modelling' around coronavirus, and that guidance issued to schools about reopening, which contains advice like limiting class sizes to 15, was only a 'draft'.
Mr Rahman admitted that it was possible that 'hundreds of potential vectors' for the virus could be brought together amid a reopening of schools.
And asked whether this meant that schools could become hotspots where children can catch the disease and spread it further, Mr Rahman said: 'Possibly, depending on school sizes.' 
Soon after his appearance, he issued a letter retracting many of the claims he had made.
In apparent contradiction of his evidence, he wrote: 'My team and I have been closely involved in advising on the Government's position on reopening.'

The Government wants Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils to return to primaries from June 1, when nurseries could also reopen. Other years will return before the summer holidays.
Advisor unable to answer question over under-18's death toll
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Guidance says schools should reduce class sizes to 15 or less, have one-way corridors and stagger break times. But unions claim the provisions are unsafe, with complaints about staff access to PPE and a lack of time to prepare for changes to teaching.
Yesterday nine unions representing workers across education demanded the Government 'step back' reopenings next month and 'work with us to create the conditions for a safe return'.
A joint statement issued through the Trades Union Congress complained of a 'lack of understanding' of the risks faced by teachers and children, with no provision for social distancing.
Mr Williamson told MPs he would arrange 'scientific briefings for the sector' to assuage their concerns, but denounced 'scaremongering'.
He said: 'The only consideration behind this decision is what is in the best interests of children and those who work in schools.
'And we all recognise the importance of children being able to return to schools. And sometimes scaremongering and making people fear is really unfair and not a welcome pressure that is to be placed on families, children and teachers alike.'
England's deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries also backed reopening, saying that access to education was crucial. She said: 'I don't think we should just be thinking about what is happening this minute... but over a child's lifetime.'
Boris Johnson's lockdown 'road map' set out that children could return to nurseries, and for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils to be back in school, from June 1 at the earliest.
The PM said he wants all primary school pupils in England to go back to school for a month before the summer. However, both Scotland and Wales have dismissed the timetable.
Boris's school reopening plans in chaos as top scientific adviser admits there is 'low confidence' pupils cannot spread coronavirus and ministers have NO idea if it will trigger a second wave in 'disturbing' Commons appearance Boris's school reopening plans in chaos as top scientific adviser admits there is 'low confidence' pupils cannot spread coronavirus and ministers have NO idea if it will trigger a second wave in 'disturbing' Commons appearance Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:26 Rating: 5

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