Teachers are far more likely to spread Covid than children, says leading scientist as figures show just 1 in 10,000 schools have been hit by outbreaks

Teachers are far more likely to spread Covid-19 than children, according to a leading scientist. 
Shamez Ladhani, a paediatric infectious diseases specialist at Public Health England (PHE), said that school staff will maintain social distancing rules during work but are more likely to break them outside the classroom. 
It comes as data shows just one in 10,000 schools have been hit by a virus outbreak since they reopened in June. Separate analysis revealed only one in 23,000 children were infected. 
A PHE analysis found 70 children out of 1.6million who had returned to school in June tested positive for Covid-19. Another 128 members of staff tested positive. And only 30 outbreaks were confirmed at 23,400 reopened schools.
The analysis, published yesterday, said the majority of cases linked to outbreaks were in staff and warned that school staff needed to be 'more vigilant for exposure outside the school setting to protect themselves, their families and the educational setting'.  
Teachers are far more likely to spread Covid-19 than children, according to a leading scientist (File image)
Teachers are far more likely to spread Covid-19 than children, according to a leading scientist (File image) 
Dr Shamez Ladhani, paediatric infectious diseases specialist at PHE, who headed the monitoring of England's schools, told The Times: 'We need to educate the educators.
'There's a clear need for a duty of care outside the school setting so staff need to protect themselves, and in turn other staff and pupils.'
He added: 'Staff are very good at social distancing and infection control in the classroom, but upon leaving the school environment these measures are more likely to be broken, potentially putting themselves and their colleagues at risk.'
Boris Johnson has pleaded with parents to send their children back to the classroom as he takes charge of the drive to get all schools open next week.
The Prime Minister warned last night that pupils risk permanent damage to their future life chances if they continue to stay away.
Mr Johnson, who tomorrow morning will return to No10 following his summer break, is in a race against the clock to get schools ready and persuade parents they are safe in time for the start of the new term.
The Government faces a big test to deliver on its promise to get all children full-time back following its shambolic handling of A-level and GCSE results. 
Many pupils in England have not been to class since March, when schools were closed except to vulnerable children and those of keyworkers.
Prime minister Boris Johnson poses during a visit to St Josephs Catholic School in Upminster to see how new Covid-19 preparedness plans had been put in place earlier this month
Prime minister Boris Johnson poses during a visit to St Josephs Catholic School in Upminster to see how new Covid-19 preparedness plans had been put in place earlier this month
Mr Johnson is racing the clock to get schools ready and persuade parents they're safe
Mr Johnson is racing the clock to get schools ready and persuade parents they're safe

Mr Johnson declared that there was a 'moral duty to reopen schools to all pupils safely' as he insisted that the return was guided by the Government's scientific and medical experts.
'We now know far more about coronavirus than we did earlier this year,' he said.
'As the chief medical officer has said, the risk of contracting Covid-19 in school is very small and it is far more damaging for a child's development and their health and wellbeing to be away from school any longer.
'This is why it's vitally important that we get our children back into the classroom to learn and to be with their friends. 
'Nothing will have a greater effect on the life chances of our children than returning to school.'
His comments came after the UK's chief and deputy chief medical officers issued a joint statement seeking to reassure parents that it was safe to send their children back to school.
They said 'very few, if any' children and teenagers would come to long-term harm from the virus solely by attending school, while there was a 'certainty' of harm from not returning.
And teachers were not at any increased risk of dying compared to the general working-age population.
Professor Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, added: 'The chances of many children being damaged by not going to school are incredibly clear and therefore the balance of risk is very strongly in favour of children going to school because many more are likely to be harmed by not going than harmed by going, even during this pandemic.'
He said local lockdown measures would be used if school reopening leads to a rise in infections, with the possibility of national restrictions if necessary.
Every school will be provided with coronavirus testing kits so they can quickly check pupils, when they reopen in September.
Ministers have given the green light for the resumption of breakfast and after-school clubs to provide extra childcare so more parents can get back to work.
Teaching unions last night insisted that they supported the return to full time education, but still issued grim warnings about the Government's strategy.
The National Education Union said it wanted ministers to spell out exactly what will happen if there is an outbreak. 
Joint general secretary Kevin Courtney said: 'School staff, parents and pupils are being sorely let down by government because of a lack of a Plan B and of ensuring robust track trace and test is in place. We believe the Government is negligent in the extreme.'
A Daily Mail poll on Saturday revealed the strength of feeling among voters about the need to get pupils back into the classroom full-time.
Seventy-eight per cent said it should be the Government's top priority if it is safe to do so.
Given the choice of whether schools should reopen or pubs remain open if only one was allowed, 80 per cent said they would choose schools, while 13 per cent opted for pubs.
Professor Chris Whitty said the chances of many children being damaged by not going to school are clear and so the balance of risk is very strongly in favour of children going to school
Professor Chris Whitty said the chances of many children being damaged by not going to school are clear and so the balance of risk is very strongly in favour of children going to school
Professor Whitty also warned that it was unlikely that a vaccine would be available by the end of this year.
He said there was a 'reasonable chance' of one being ready for next winter, 2021/22.
'I would be delighted if it came earlier rather than later but I'd be quite surprised if we had a highly effective vaccine ready for mass use in a large percentage of the population before the end of winter, certainly before this side of Christmas,' he said.
'I think if we look forward a year I think the chances are much greater than if we look forward six months and we need to have that sort of timescale in mind.' 
Teachers are far more likely to spread Covid than children, says leading scientist as figures show just 1 in 10,000 schools have been hit by outbreaks Teachers are far more likely to spread Covid than children, says leading scientist as figures show just 1 in 10,000 schools have been hit by outbreaks Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:12 Rating: 5

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