Coronavirus (COVID 19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues minutes: 30 June 2020

Minutes from the second meeting of the COVID-19 Advisory Group held on Tuesday 30 June 2020.

Items and actions

1. The sub-group discussed finalising their advice on physical distancing. The situation in Leicester was noted, and the sub-group considered any implications it might have for this advice. 

2. Joined by an expert from Public Health Scotland (PHS), the sub-group discussed the monitoring that should be implemented in schools and early learning settings as these reopen.  The sub-group noted the surveillance, testing, control and prevention approach. 

3. The sub-group considered the merits of options around routine testing and enhanced surveillance, including sampling.  Issues of effectiveness, testing capacity, ethics (including of doing a test without a plan to act on it), unintended consequences, behavioural implications (including for other vital prevention measures such as hand-hygiene), and links to genome-sequencing were explored.  It was noted that a testing approach should be sensitive to the prevalence of the virus in a particular locality, and it was agreed to discuss triggers for closing classrooms / schools at a future meeting. 

4. The sub-group considered its commission relating to school transport.  Issues of additionality and rurality were considered, as well as the merits of a consistent approach between dedicated school transport and a school environment.  The opportunity of encouraging more active travel was noted.

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