Publication - FOI/EIR release

COVID 19 restrictions in schools: FOI release

Published: 16 Aug 2021

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
16 Aug 2021
COVID 19 restrictions in schools: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100225063
Date received: 22 Jul 2021
Date responded: 12 Aug 2021
Information requested

Can you please send me the data that shows a wedding or funeral with 200 guests is safer than a school prom that has 50 guests all from the same school year group who have been in class with each other the last year or so (when they were allowed into school). To clarify. Please provide data that shows why a high school prom is not allowed but a wedding with 200 guests is?

Response

Please see below the information you requested. 

The Scottish Government considers a wide range of evidence when making assessments to inform decisions on restrictions. Details of impacts from economic, general wellbeing, mental health and anxiety and other non-Covid related health harms can be found in the four harms dashboard which is updated weekly and can be found at https://data.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/.

Further information about the Scottish Government’s decision-making framework can be found in the paper published on 11 December 2020: Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making -assessing the four harms - gov.scot (www.gov.scot). This paper provides an overview of key analysis and
evidence (and links to more detailed evidence) in support of decisions on how best to limit the effects of COVID-19. In this document, we describe how the four harms approach works in practice and present nevidence under each of the four harms to illustrate how we used the four harms to make decisions about levels, activities and restrictions.

A meeting of the Coronavirus (COVID 19) Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues held on 1 June discussed School Leavers’ Events, published minutes: Coronavirus (COVID 19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues minutes: 1 June 2021 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot) an extract below:

The Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues discussed questions which had been raised about the possibility of holding school leavers’ events, such as proms and assemblies, at its meeting on 1 June 2021. The sub-group recognised the importance of holding end-of-year events, particularly for those young people for whom they were a symbolic rite of passage to mark the end of formal schooling.

However sub-group members expressed concerns regarding the potential for transmission at large gatherings, particularly given the uncertainty around the transmissibility and impact of the new Delta variant of concern at the time, and advised a precautionary approach for the remainder of the 2021 summer term.

The Scottish Government has published relevant records of the impact assessments carried out in respect of public health restrictions over the course of the pandemic, including records relating to the introduction of and changes to The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements)
(Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations 2020
(legislation.gov.uk) and the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scotland's Strategic Framework - gov.scot.

These impact assessments refer to evidence which has been relevant to decisions made on weddings. 

I refer you to the:

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (legislation.gov.uk) (EQIA) (at page 60-71)

Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 11) Regulations 2021 (legislation.gov.uk) (at page 3-23) from November 2020

EQIA The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 11) Regulations 2021 (legislation.gov.uk) (page 5-16 with specific reference at the protected characteristic of pregnancy and maternity)

BRIA The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 11) Regulations 2021 (legislation.gov.uk) (page 2-14) from January 2021

EQIA The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 21) Regulations 2021 (legislation.gov.uk) (at page 69-89)

BRIA The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 21) Regulations 2021 - BRIA (legislation.gov.uk) (page 52-79) from April 2021

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the websites listed, then please contact me again and I will arrange to send you a paper copy.

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
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