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Thread: O/T. The Government's handling of Covid

  1. #1
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    O/T. The Government's handling of Covid

    Here we are, let's stop corrupting other threads and discuss the Government's handling of Covid in it's own thread.

    I'll try not to involve the media, as that is covered on a previous thread.

    In the Government's defence, these are unprecedented times, creating many difficulties and many impossible decisions to get right.

    On the other hand, many glaringly obvious wrong decisions have been made. So many stupid promises and claims have been made, regarding ppe supplies, tracing app and such.

    In the fullness of time, you will hope that the true facts will come out. This will be difficult, as people will naturally try to cover up their own failings.

    There you go, the floor is all yours.

  2. #2
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    The latest ina long line of **** ups - Grant Shaps thinks 4 am Saturday is Sunday!! Minor but led people returning from France to believe quarantine started on Sunday.

    Williamson - basically from handling the return of pupils to schools to the absurd notion that pupils could use the results of their mocks if unhappy with exam grades - funny that the government were advised 2 months ago that the methodology used to award grades would result in 39% of grades being lowered and that bright pupils from poorer performing state schools would be affected most and lo it has happened.

    Test and track system, basically missing 70% of people, thousands of people employed as tracers haven't done anything for 2 months.

    Overall what we have is what one gets when you vote in a known liar and bull****ter as PM who then appoints ministers on the basis of their brown nosing skills rather than their ability.

    Have we ever had such a bunch of overpromoted useless ****s in a government of any colour?

  3. #3
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    I believe that everyone should quarantine when returning from abroad, the numbers of cases in the EU and worldwide are higher now, than in March, when it is widely accepted that the government should have imposed a quarantine.

    On the subject of A level results, RA will explode, I believe that the teachers have let down their students. Let's look at the stats, 40% of the teachers' predicted grades have been downgraded, but the downgraded grades are still 2% higher than last year. If the teachers' grades are to be believed, then we must have a one off year full of 'Einsteins'. If we do as Mrs Crankie or the shadow education secretary says, giving grades as per teacher's assessments, it would mean an unprecedented increase in grades. These grades would show a 14% increase on last year's results.

    Of course, there are individual cases where student's have been treated unfairly, but hopefully, the appeals procedure will work, as it does in any year. It seems to be that a lot of struggling schools were on course for great results this year, if you listen to their heads.

  4. #4
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    Opportunist heads trying to boost the school ratings and popularity by overegging their results? Surely not?

    It's a tough one. No doubt there are some kids who work hard throughout the year and will see good results due to their ddiligent approach. Others will coast along and then hope to cram at the end for exams, and so won't have had the opportunity to hike their grade at the end, and so will be disadvantaged due to their strategy this year (this was rather my approach). But I'm sure teachers recognise these pupils and will reflect that in assessments, hopefully?

    I heard an (Asian accentually) student putting the case for crammers a few days ago quite eloquently and I recognised a "like mind". Until, that is, he went on to suggest it was thus unfair on the ethnic minorities and the underprivileged: as if these groups were the only crammers. Credibility left the room by the back door sadly

    When all is said and done, this year's A level results will always carry an asterisk and have to be viewed as "potentially flawed" but if the system means some kids miss out on places in higher education that has to be managed sympathetically somehow by flexibility of the university admissions process. I believe applications for university are down at the moment so reassessment of admission requirements - maybe some sort of interview (zoom) based clearing process - might work to level out iniquities?

    There will of course also be some whose assessed grade will be too high and the students will flounder and fail at the next level as they are "found out", but at least they had the opportunity and just 15k debt 🤔.

    End of the day, it is what it is. No one's fault. Teachers are best positioned to evaluate students ability to move on to the next level. What other choice is there?

    There is clearly going to be a question mark about the assessed grade as a ticket to move to the next level, but once (and if) that is overcome and a subsequent qualification overlayed, so long as potential empoyers note the covid influence on results at interview, it shouldn't harm job prospects.

    If there are any jobs, that is

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram59 View Post
    I believe that everyone should quarantine when returning from abroad, the numbers of cases in the EU and worldwide are higher now, than in March, when it is widely accepted that the government should have imposed a quarantine.

    On the subject of A level results, RA will explode, I believe that the teachers have let down their students. Let's look at the stats, 40% of the teachers' predicted grades have been downgraded, but the downgraded grades are still 2% higher than last year. If the teachers' grades are to be believed, then we must have a one off year full of 'Einsteins'. If we do as Mrs Crankie or the shadow education secretary says, giving grades as per teacher's assessments, it would mean an unprecedented increase in grades. These grades would show a 14% increase on last year's results.

    Of course, there are individual cases where student's have been treated unfairly, but hopefully, the appeals procedure will work, as it does in any year. It seems to be that a lot of struggling schools were on course for great results this year, if you listen to their heads.
    Why would I ‘explode’, Ram? You and GP have become very fond of suggesting what ‘RA’ - and Swale or mista - will do/think etc but it’s invariably unfounded.

    Do I think/have I ever suggested that teachers and head teachers are beyond reproach? Of course not. There are good and bad in all walks - and professions - of life. Simple as that and teachers are no exception.
    I know of at least one teacher who has made the most of the opportunity provided for non attendance. On the other hand I also know that my daughter worked in school every single day of the last half term and that the two schools my wife and I worked in prior to retirement have remained open throughout the pandemic...even providing a ‘social service’ through the Easter holidays.

    I don’t doubt for a moment that ‘opportunist heads’, as described by GP, exist and I share his contempt for them, however have most
    teachers let down their students? I don’t think so.

    I spent most of my career working with 14-16 year olds so I have to go back almost half a century to remember A levels. They were always, as with most exams, something of a lottery and that seems to be being replicated, albeit in another form, this year.

    Much more important though than the ‘distraction’ of A level results is what will be happening in September. It will not be the fault of teachers if parents do not feel sufficiently confident in the physical ability of schools to follow social distancing rules.

    The government, in the form of Gavin Williamson - aka Frank Spencer - has known about the problem for months but simply not tackled it. They love to take the credit for ‘building’ new hospitals so quickly back in March and April but in fact they did no such thing. They requisitioned certain buildings and equipped them as, largely and thankfully unused, hospitals.
    Such action was worthy of praise but why haven’t they taken similar steps with schools?
    Time after time we hear the mantra that all pupils will return to school as normal in September and hang wringing Frank tells us there’ll be fines for parents who don’t conform to this ‘moral responsibility’.

    It won’t work...teachers, pupils and, above all, parents have justifiable concerns. You cannot safely fit a full class of pupils into a classroom with dimensions that defy all other ‘new normal’ rules regarding social distancing. Steps such as the acquisition of alternative/temporary buildings and the ’upskilling’ of teaching assistants should already be in place but unfortunately we have a Prime Minister and an Education Secretary who haven’t a clue and nothing has been done.

    What I suspect you’ll see very soon is pupils on part time (50% at best) timetables and a great deal of online teaching for those with the equipment, parental support/capability, and motivation to make the most of it.

    Ultimately the current A level fiasco will, I suspect, make little difference. What happens in all areas of schooling from September onwards will...but I don’t think you can blame teachers for the abject lack of planning.
    Last edited by ramAnag; 15-08-2020 at 09:02 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramAnag View Post
    Why would I ‘explode’, Ram? You and GP have become very fond of suggesting what ‘RA’ - and Swale or mista - will do/think etc but it’s invariably unfounded.

    Do I think/have I ever suggested that teachers and head teachers are beyond reproach? Of course not. There are good and bad in all walks - and professions - of life. Simple as that and teachers are no exception.
    I know of at least one teacher who has made the most of the opportunity provided for non attendance. On the other hand I also know that my daughter worked in school every single day of the last half term and that the two schools my wife and I worked in prior to retirement have remained open throughout the pandemic...even providing a ‘social service’ through the Easter holidays.

    I don’t doubt for a moment that ‘opportunist heads’, as described by GP, exist and I share his contempt for them, however have most
    teachers let down their students? I don’t think so.

    I spent most of my career working with 14-16 year olds so I have to go back almost half a century to remember A levels. They were always, as with most exams, something of a lottery and that seems to be being replicated, albeit in another form, this year.

    Much more important though than the ‘distraction’ of A level results is what will be happening in September. It will not be the fault of teachers if parents do not feel sufficiently confident in the physical ability of schools to follow social distancing rules.

    The government, in the form of Gavin Williamson - aka Frank Spencer - has known about the problem for months but simply not tackled it. They love to take the credit for ‘building’ new hospitals so quickly back in March and April but in fact they did no such thing. They requisitioned certain buildings and equipped them as, largely and thankfully unused, hospitals.
    Such action was worthy of praise but why haven’t they taken similar steps with schools?
    Time after time we hear the mantra that all pupils will return to school as normal in September and hang wringing Frank tells us there’ll be fines for parents who don’t conform to this ‘moral responsibility’.

    It won’t work...teachers, pupils and, above all, parents have justifiable concerns. You cannot safely fit a full class of pupils into a classroom with dimensions that defy all other ‘new normal’ rules regarding social distancing. Steps such as the acquisition of alternative/temporary buildings and the ’upskilling’ of teaching assistants should already be in place but unfortunately we have a Prime Minister and an Education Secretary who haven’t a clue and nothing has been done.

    What I suspect you’ll see very soon is pupils on part time (50% at best) timetables and a great deal of online teaching for those with the equipment, parental support/capability, and motivation to make the most of it.

    Ultimately the current A level fiasco will, I suspect, make little difference. What happens in all areas of schooling from September onwards will...but I don’t think you can blame teachers for the abject lack of planning.
    Some good points there RA, the government have shown no flexibility in the return to full time schooling in September, when some schools physically cannot maintain safe standards. Some of these would benefit from temporary classrooms, where possible. However, others would need to have reduced hours or possibly some kind of staggered hours.

    But, surely you must agree that there has been a large scale 'generosity' in the teachers' assessments. When you consider the facts that around 20% have received the top grades, then 50% of the remaining assessments have been over rated. This is not an isolated few teachers taking advantage, this is widespread. But strangely, or maybe not, the entire focus of attention has been placed at the Government's door.

    Unfortunately, because of the massive numbers of students appealing, some of the genuine ones will get lost in the system.

  7. #7
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    I’ll offer a view on the one area I might be considered an expert - the restrictions on returnees from Spain, particularly The Balearics. At first I thought they’d got it badly wrong, but now I think they were spot-on. Cases here are soaring, and many are from the holidaymaker/ ex pat community. With a seven day incubation period, a quarantine longer than that was exactly the right thing

  8. #8
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    Careful \Andy, praise of the government is not allowed! I have to go to Greece on business next month, so will be interesting to see if they will get onto the bad boys list by September and thus punish me with self isolation! Interestingly (and I think it stems from Italian entry requirements) everyone leaving Greece is encouraged to do a covid test on departure (24 hour response). Ok it wont necessarily catch those who are incubating or indeed get it on the plane home etc.

    Agree that the self isolation coming back from overseas is conceptually good, but it rather assumes that "johnny foreigner is an unhygienic plague carrier and that the good old english chaps are not. Given our relatively higher death rates, what is the basis for imposing quarantines. Surely statistically we are less likely to get covid when overseas?

    If anything, holidays should be banned, as opposed to countries visited. Its the bar life, hotels, eating out, beaches etc that expose the Brit abroad - life style not location. If you went to Belgium and spent your time touring nice isolated beauty spots, camping in the woods etc, you'd be no more covid exposed than being at home. But wherever you go if you end up in high density crowdsed bars, clubs, beaches you're going to be more exposed.

    Think not where you are going, but what you are doing. If you get covid on return from the Balearics, its more likely you got it from that drunken typist from Dudley that you caroused with in the nightclub, than the spanish bloke you bought some watermelon from on an isolated northern beach

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram59 View Post
    I believe that everyone should quarantine when returning from abroad, the numbers of cases in the EU and worldwide are higher now, than in March, when it is widely accepted that the government should have imposed a quarantine.

    On the subject of A level results, RA will explode, I believe that the teachers have let down their students. Let's look at the stats, 40% of the teachers' predicted grades have been downgraded, but the downgraded grades are still 2% higher than last year. If the teachers' grades are to be believed, then we must have a one off year full of 'Einsteins'. If we do as Mrs Crankie or the shadow education secretary says, giving grades as per teacher's assessments, it would mean an unprecedented increase in grades. These grades would show a 14% increase on last year's results.

    Of course, there are individual cases where student's have been treated unfairly, but hopefully, the appeals procedure will work, as it does in any year. It seems to be that a lot of struggling schools were on course for great results this year, if you listen to their heads.
    Ram afraid that's what happens when you have school league tables Headmasters and teachers under pressure to get those results ,human nature will tell you the results are all that matters

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram59 View Post
    Some good points there RA, the government have shown no flexibility in the return to full time schooling in September, when some schools physically cannot maintain safe standards. Some of these would benefit from temporary classrooms, where possible. However, others would need to have reduced hours or possibly some kind of staggered hours.

    But, surely you must agree that there has been a large scale 'generosity' in the teachers' assessments. When you consider the facts that around 20% have received the top grades, then 50% of the remaining assessments have been over rated. This is not an isolated few teachers taking advantage, this is widespread. But strangely, or maybe not, the entire focus of attention has been placed at the Government's door.

    Unfortunately, because of the massive numbers of students appealing, some of the genuine ones will get lost in the system.
    Thanks.

    It’s difficult to disagree that some teachers may have marked over generously. Beyond that I just don’t know but, as I’ve said, the priority has to be what happens from Sept’ onwards...and that IS the government’s responsibility.

    Andy...I think people understand the need for people to self isolate/quarantine on their return. It’s the abruptness and timing which is a puzzle. The necessity for return from both Spain, some weeks ago, and now France were both announced at 10.00 pm and there seems to have been a curiously short and unrealistic window of opportunity for return in both cases.

    Personally I’m also infuriated by the ferry, Tunnel and Airplane companies who appear to have profited from this ‘supply and demand’ attitude to customers. ‘All in this together’...I don’t think so.

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