Analysis Exclusive

New ONS data show 570 education staff have died of coronavirus – but media claim just 139 as ONS top-line data hides majority

Newspapers state death toll less than a quarter of reality as ONS age-breaks mean top-line numbers massively understate real cost. Media’s claim today would mean nine staff who died tragically up to June last year had come back to life

The so-called ‘mainstream’ media have massively understated the number of teachers and other education staff who have been killed by COVID-19 during the government’s wilful determination to keep schools open in the pandemic.

Media number would mean nine staff who died up to June came back to life

A variety of media reported that 139 education staff have died of the virus – which would mean nine staff coming back to life compared to the death toll of 148 in June last year. The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data are split into the bizarre age brackets of 18-64 and over-64 – and the ONS ‘top-line’ data said 139 staff 64 or under have died. This figure allowed the media to claim that education settings carry no higher risk than elsewhere.

But the real number of education staff killed by the virus is at least 570:

2311 Higher education teaching professionals 39 deaths
2312 Further education teaching professionals 48 deaths
2314 Secondary education teaching professionals 148 deaths
2315 Primary and nursery education teaching professionals 85 deaths
2316 Special needs education teaching professionals 14 deaths
2317 Senior professionals of educational establishments 40 deaths
2318 Education advisers and school inspectors 9 deaths
2319 Teaching and other educational professionals n.e.c. 35 deaths
6121 Nursery nurses and assistants 20 deaths
6122 Childminders and related occupations 36 deaths
6123 Playworkers 4 deaths
6125 Teaching assistants 74 death
6126 Educational support assistants 18 deaths

And even without counting the over-64s, 217 have died.

Despite this, the media have continued to claim the lower figure. But TES has published the real figure, quoting the @ToryFibs analysis of the ONS data that revealed the real cost:

The ONS – which was slammed just last week by the UK Statistics Authority for its presentation of data misused by the Tories to claim schools are safe, even before this latest data batch – also claimed today on social media that the death rate among education staff is no worse than the general population. But the National Education Union (NEU) revealed that Department for Education data showed that rates of infection among education staff is between twice as high and seven times as high as in the wider population.

And every time data is poorly or misleadingly presented, the media are all over it to give the Tories a free pass or even – as with this week’s spate of front pages demanding that school reopen – pushing the government into actions that would allow schools again to drive the pandemic up and put teachers and the rest of us in grave and avoidable danger.

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18 comments

  1. Go to
    UK Statistics Authority
    Truth Defence
    Judicial Review

    Or

    They are right and bairns education and life chances have been screwed

      1. The graph above is a good reply to those clamouring for schools to reopen- so mum & dad can work, old boy…

  2. A quick look at the govt’s weekly national flu reports webpage indicates that, sometime between Oct 2020 and Jan 2021 (during which time they appear to have taken a break), these reports were rebranded National flu and Covid-19 surveillance reports.

    Does suggest to anyone else that the absence of bespoke flu data indicates this conflation of flu with Covid is in order to inflate the Covid figures? The mainstream media make no mention of this conflation in their ghoulish daily body count announcements, leaving viewers with the impression the deaths are all from Covid. Unless flu has suddenly vanished from the face of the Earth, we can conclude that many of these are in fact deaths from flu and NOT from Covid.

    No doubt someone will set me straight if I’ve misunderstood…

    1. You don’t say who you think is responsible or what they expect to gain from conflating the two “in order to inflate the Covid figures.”

      I don’t see the logic of hiding educators’ deaths to pretend schools are safe – at the same time as pretending Covid is more dangerous than it really is.
      Does that not seem illogical to you?

      1. To paraphrase Martin Sheen addressing Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now, I don’t see any logic…at all.

        Looking for altruistic sanity in the mind of Boris Johnson is a fool’s errand. To answer your question, Boris is responsible of course! Can you see any logic in conflating flu data with Covid data, other than to pull the wool over our eyes? As we know, self-preservation is Johnson’s bottom line.

        The worse the data, the longer he can justify lockdown and the longer he and his cronies can stay out of the dock. At the same time, he’s covering himself from accusations of ignoring or abandoning children (he’s sick of hearing that from his exes) by going thru the motions of trying to keep schools open so he can later say “well I tried”.

        I predict the length of Lockdown will be commensurate with his remaining time in No 10.

      2. Disaster Capatalism
        Follow the money, spivs and thieves profiteering
        During the war, individuals used to rob the dead and bombed out houses
        Simple one
        £22 billion on test and trace another £12 billion this year and it doesn’t even work, you could scrap it tomorrow and we wouldn’t notice it had gone

    2. Timfrom….I don’t give a bugger about whether its flu,C19 or typhoid…Some sod and animal in the establishment conservative and unionist party plus aided and abetted by the leader need to stand trial for the murder of my two brothers in care homes..IF I ever get back to europe I will make sure that they are not forgotten.

      1. Joseph
        Air tight case and nothing has changed
        Latest atrocity is making the most vulnerable wait 12 weeks for 2nd dose of vaccine
        Keeping snouts in troughs for as long as possible

    3. What you can say for certain is behavioural psychologists are driving the media narrative. Therefore it’s unlikely that data is presented to assist the Conservatives. Sage is driving the agenda.
      An interesting aside, there was some small, mostly social media debate yesterday about the death of 23 care home residents in Norway after having the Phizer vaccination. It was ironic that ‘fact checking’ claimed that “the deaths couldn’t be associated with the vaccine because those who died had other chronic illness and were dying anyway”. Exactly the argument Covid deniers use about dying ‘with’ Covid for the majority of deaths recorded.

  3. ITs shocking that we are point scoring on the flu \virus whatever.This government along with that little helper were always going to take advantage of the situation.Come together and dont allow the virus or flu to divide the working-class people who have suffered enough under the neo liberal alliance.Pray that a decent human being like Corbyn arises from the working-class and hope that they have got the courage to see a working-class revolt against the establishment…The knight is not the answer sadly but part of the problem.

  4. Latest GB voting intention Britain Elects 25th January: Con 42%, L Dem 8%, GRN 4%, Lab 37%
    Not only is Starmer behind the worst government in living history, the votes he needs to win are Liberal ones……. I think that’ll be reflected in Labour’s next manifesto.

  5. Nothing more than dead tree propaganda printed in these rags. The latest LIE 139 teachers have died not the real figure of 570 FFS!!!

    This sort of willfully lie to benefit the Tory scum shows why newspapers in the UK can’t be trusted to tell the truth and will instead just publish pro-government propaganda every time…

    So again, I ask why read dangerous Lies and pay an excessive amount for that dubious purpose?

  6. Thank you Tory Fibs. Earlier today I wrote a letter to MStar re how this is the 1st even approximately genuine lockdown, and that this is what should have been done 11 months ago.

  7. The NEU’s plan for education return and recovery
    The National Education Union (NEU) education recovery plan sets out how to reopen schools and colleges in a safe and sustainable way.
    The plan outlines the challenges that our education system must overcome if pupils are to recover their confidence, interest, and joy in learning and to make the progress they are capable of.
    It provides a route towards sustainable school and college opening and away from the Government’s stop/start approach, which has resulted in schools and colleges being closed to full pupil intakes twice.
    We believe schools and colleges should only open when it’s safe to do so
    Part 1 – Safety in our schools and colleges
    1.Social distancing in schools and colleges.
    2.Limit numbers on site through rotas and remote education.
    3.Increase the use of face coverings and better ventilation.
    4.Education staff should be vaccinated as a priority.
    5.Specific support for SEND settings.

    Part 2 – Let’s build a better education system
    1.A well thought out reintegration plan, with flexibility for schools to meet the needs of their communities.
    2.Employ supply teachers and qualified teachers who have left the profession to work in schools and colleges.
    3.Develop and properly resource a recovery curriculum to run over a number of years.
    4.Plans must be made for those who are in transition years.

    Part 3 – The best start in life
    1.End child poverty.
    2.All pupils must be guaranteed access to broadband and laptops, which will enable them to learn remotely, and to study and develop their skills once schools are fully open.
    3.A fully-resourced national plan for children’s wellbeing should be launched to support those who suffered trauma in the pandemic.
    4.Welfare reform is needed so that parents are not working for their family’s poverty.

    https://actionnetwork.org/forms/educationrecovery/

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