Published On: Fri, Jan 22nd, 2021

Breaking: UK Statistics boss rebukes ONS for data used by Tories to claim schools safe

UKSA head of regulation criticises lack of clarity and context

The UK Statistics Authority’s (UKSA) director general for regulation has today sent a letter to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggesting that the ONS’s data on the risks associated with different occupations lacked clarity and sufficient context to be used properly – and that the ONS failed to respond properly to concerns raised about its analysis on schools.

The data were exploited by the Tories to support their now-discredited claim that schools were safe environments:

Teachers and other school staff have now been shown to have suffered far higher infection rates than the general population, but for months the Tories claimed there was no greater risk. Deaths will certainly have occurred as a result of the misrepresented data, both among school staff and the families of pupils – and in the wider population, as schools drove the second and third waves of the pandemic higher.

The Tories have not published data on deaths among school staff since June last year, at which point approaching 200 had already died.

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