Coronavirus (COVID 19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues minutes: 6 October 2020

Minutes from the twelfth meeting of the COVID-19 Advisory Group held on Tuesday 6 October 2020.

Items and actions

The sub-group considered a paper on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people since the COVID-19 pandemic began.  This supported a wide-ranging discussion around the evidence on how to maximise the opportunities to support positive mental health and wellbeing, while minimising the risks of COVID-19 transmission.  Members referenced the substantial literature on resilience and factors that are protective in adversity, as well as the growing evidence on activities/age groups that are at relatively lower risk for COVID-19 transmission.

The sub-group discussed the impact of current restrictions on those who visit schools to support children and young people with additional support needs.  They noted that some professionals (including some social workers, allied health professionals, specialist teachers, 3rd sector organisations and others) provide an essential service vital to delivering these children’s care plans.  The sub-group were in principle supportive of a phased return of this provision, provided appropriate virus mitigation measures and monitoring procedures are in place. 

Public Health Scotland shared their regular review of recently published evidence on COVID-19 as it relates to children and young people, for the sub-group to consider alongside the regular dashboard of school attendance data. 

In advance of the next sub-group meeting, members were asked to consider some specific questions, including whether to revisit current published advice on face coverings in light of the current levels of community transmission. 

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