Independent SAGE publishes final report: When Should a School Reopen?

The Independent SAGE (iSAGE) final report on schools reopening concludes it is not safe to open schools everywhere on 1 June. It recommends that local test, track and isolate programmes should be in place, tested and shown to work locally before schools reopen.

SPS commentary:

Mathematical models discussed in the report estimate that delaying a school reopening by two weeks (to 15th June) approximately halves the risk that a child will be infected (from 1.46% to 0.72%) and delaying the reopening till September is less risky still (0.15%). The report emphasises that the risk of death from Covid-19 is extremely small for children.

The report discusses the release of the SAGE reports that informed the government’s decision to reopen schools from 1st June, and notes that all seven “returning to school” scenarios discussed resulted in an increase in R. The school reopening scenario chosen by the government is not one of those modelled by SAGE making the potential impact of reopening even more uncertain. The iSAGE believes that “by going ahead with a general school reopening from 1st June, the government is not following the advice of its SAGE group and is risking a new surge in cases of COVID19 in some communities.”


The Independent Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies

Resource links:

Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE): Coronavirus (COVID-19) response