A group of independent scientists led by a former chief scientific adviser to the government said today that it is too early for schools to reopen and called for a two-week delay.
The group, which calls itself Independent Sage, says the risk to children will be halved if school reopening is delayed by two weeks.
The release comes on the day the government is to announce definitive plans to reopen schools in England.
Currently, schools can reopen from June 1 – starting with year 1, 6 and daycare in primary schools and 10 and 12 in secondary schools.
The group, chaired by former chief scientific adviser Sir David King, is calling for a postponement until check, track and trace operations are fully operational, the group reports. The Mirror.
The scientists’ plea came hours before Downing Street planned to uncover the scientific advice from his Sage (Scientific Emergency Group) behind his school reopening plan amid an argument with education unions.
The government held a briefing on May 15 to explain why it believed it would be safe to reopen schools on June 1.
However, a source claimed to Tes that the scientific guidance presented during that briefing was out of date.
The evidence was from April 7, which would be eight weeks old on June 1, the source added.
An Independent Sage member said it had looked at parents’ concerns about how social distance is achieved in school.
The committee member said, “This is integral and essential to the success of opening and keeping schools open.”