Sky News Breakfast: Back to school raises questions over COVID-19 numbers

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEaizutfpp8"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][Music] so it is seven o'clock good to see you this morning children in england are heading back to school and with their return come big questions to be answered what effects will the mixing of students have on the nation's coronavirus figures will the government's catch-up program actually get people's learning back on track after the severe disruption caused by the pandemic the education secretary gavin williamson joins us in the studio in just a few minutes time uh but also on the program we'll be discussing this the perilous situation for female judges in afghanistan at half past seven i'll be speaking to one woman who escaped the taliban and one who's still fearing for her life inside the country also ahead how locked down got us up and moving up some of us a quarter tonight legendary long distance runner paula radcliffe will be joining us to discuss the evidence that the pandemic has increased activity levels it's thursday 2nd of september testing the recovery unions warn that covert cases could rise as pupils return to school in england and where all my gcse work so far has kind of had this disruption that it'd be nice to kind of just go through go through you know at least a term or whatever without any kind of isolation the foreign secretary heads to doha for talks with qatari leaders on how to help british nationals still trying to leave afghanistan the afghan refugee who made it to the very top of women's football but hasn't changed her opinion the taliban regime they're the wolves that are you know disguised themselves and she's right now and then the true call is going to come true a state of emergency is declared in new york as flash floods and heavy rain hit the city dripping in gold the swimmer turned cyclist dame sarah story becomes great britain's most successful paralympian ever and as for the weather mild and cloudy for most with the best of the sunshine in scotland [Music] morning all people start to return to classrooms in england and wales this morning and what could prove a big test for two key government policies in england pupils will now be able to mix with other years other year groups face coverings are optional and contacts of a positive case will no longer have to isolate automatically these relaxed measures have led unions to warn that covert 19 infections could rise meanwhile the government is hoping that six million pupils will benefit from its catch-up support designed to make up for the disruption caused by the pandemic laura bundik has our first report they've brought them in early for lateral flows but there's a much bigger test ahead can schools keep covid under control students at the charter school in south london hope so all my gcse work so far has kind of had this disruption that it'd be nice to kind of just go through go through you know at least a term or whatever without any kind of isolation we've been in and out of lockdowns for the past two years and obviously it's quite important since we're in year 11. i'll be able to commute with the teachers more easily they'll be able to get across to me more easily face to face contact i think that's better than online walk through the corridors and all restrictions are now removed it's a really exciting moment the students are coming back it's going to be a normal opportunity for them they're going to be able to go around the entire school bubbles are gone as are face masks and whole class isolations if everything goes right then we will we will keep the school open we will keep it running and we will continue to have a good learning experience for our students we did it last year we had very few outbreaks and problems last year here they hope routine testing will help and students will receive regular reminders when children are backing classrooms it's widely expected cases will rise how much and for how long isn't known but one thing certain a balance this term will have to be struck for students between the risk of the virus and the risk of more disruption to learning unions warn more must be done to keep kids in classrooms the measures we need in place to stop cases spreading so that children don't miss school are real improvements in ventilation in air filtration possibly in mask wearing we'd like to see the prime minister putting out a call for secondary students to test themselves twice a week with the lft test you just need to do five circles in each nostril okay it will be a testing new term the challenge now losing restrictions and keeping schools open laura bundock sky news in south london uh and as mentioned we are hoping to be speaking to the education secretary gavin williamson in just a few minutes time for some face-to-face learning today we are for that uh but still to come on the program aside from the education secretary [Music] we'll be speaking uh to treat five minutes past day we'll be speaking to preet girl livers shadow international development secretary to see what she thinks the foreign secretary can achieve in qatar at 20 past dates i'll be speaking to the chief inspector inspector of ofsted about students returning to schools in england and wales [Music] i don't have power state so christopher mayer will be here uh talking about global terror threats following the taliban's takeover of afghanistan but as we wait for the education secretary let's take a look at a few of the day's other main stories now and uh well first let's start with the latest coronavirus data for the uk shall we there have been a further 35 693 new cases of coronavirus reported in the latest 24-hour period a further 207 people died after contracting kovid this number is likely to include some delayed reporting due to the bank holiday it takes the total number of people who've died within 28 days of a positive test to 132 742. breaking news this morning a state of emergency has been declared in new york city and new jersey uh dramatic pictures but in a tweet the mayor of the city bill de blasio want people uh to stay inside to avoid the flash floods and heavy rain he asked new yorkers to stay off the streets and to let first responders and emergency services get their work done flooding has been recorded across the city including these images of a subway station being overcome by water and there's been further reports of flash flooding in washington dc and pittsburgh as well as the aftermath from tornadoes in new jersey and maryland i'm very pleased to say that the education secretary gavin borenson is here with us in the studio very good as i mentioned good to have some face-to-face learning for once between the two of us i think we've all been craving it we have indeed you know it's back to normality as much as possible well that is an appropriate place for where we should start then of course you will want to talk i'm sure about the tutoring that you're that you're announcing today but in terms of people getting back to school today how confident are we we hit term running it's starting as we mean to go on that we will not see as we perhaps edge into the winter months some form of reversal well we're very confident but i mean i think you'd probably want to join us today sort of wishing all those children maybe going to school for the first time a little bit of excitement a little bit of nervousness that they're feeling those children going on to secondary school or just moving up a year wishing them the very best and what we wanted to do is to get that school experience back to that sort of normal pre-pandemic sort of sense as before i think that's the right thing to do you know we've been over the summer we've been enjoying life back as normal going to pubs going to sporting venues it's really important that children are getting that normal experience to boot so how are we going to ensure that that normal experience continues testing is clearly going to be a big part of that testing is a vital part of that and that's why we're rolling out testing for all secondary school pupils you're seeing uh you know seeing over the next couple of weeks you'll see somewhere in the region of uh nine million tests uh plus done in terms of uh children and we're wanting to capture the virus there but of course we do have a contingency framework in place if there's areas of particular need that we do have to take further action but when you say contingency framework what do you mean because people will hear that and they will assume back to bubbles back to classes perhaps whole year groups being told to go home yeah so that's what we are absolutely clear that we want to avoid that's why we've made the changes that we have we want children to be in the classroom yes of course if a child has covered they'll have to self-isolate test and trace will contact those who've been in contact with them and they'll advise them to have a pcr test but actually those children will able to continue to go to school they're able to continue to be in the classroom unless they test positive but can we just be absolutely clear there is an expectation isn't there that we are going to see covert cases rise and rise significantly as a result of face-to-face learning again just as we have seen in scotland uh we are having to strike a sensible balance a sensible balance to making sure that children get the very best education we aren't expecting corporate cases to rise we must be but this is why you know we're doing the mass testing in schools because we want to identify those cases and as i say you're going to see 9 million plus tests carried out over the next few weeks really trying to spot those covered cases before they go into school in terms of the children that are getting back to school today children young adults of course getting back into school today it will be markedly different from the conditions that they left the other side of the term end to bubbles the end to the kind of the yearly exclusion of whole years face masks certainly not being mandated in schools i mean jeff barton and from the association of school and college leaders suggested it feels a little like a case of hitting hope on the part of the government why did we not continue with some of those mitigations well we have continued with uh sort of key elements of mitigations including the testing but there's a big difference between schools returning uh this september compared to when schools returned last september uh and in march and the key difference is that the british population everyone who's of uh every adult has been offered not just one job but two and of course vaccines are the thing that have been the game changer that's the reason that we've been able to lift national restrictions but for me children getting a normal education experience as it was pre-pandemic is so vital because we've got to put them first above all of us understand that but in terms of the vaccination program the jcvi are dragging their heels on making an announcement about a potential booster program the jcvi similarly appear to be dragging their heels and telling us what the advice is for for for those under 16. is it perhaps the moment for the the joint committee on vaccination and immunizations to get a bit of a rigol on and come to a decision on some of these things well i think speaking as a parent myself i think parents would find this incredibly reassuring to know that they had a choice as to whether their child uh would be vaccinated or not and i really listen there is a big question though isn't there currently as to whether or not we allocate our vaccine resources directly to a booster program which we would need to get started on immediately or we address it to younger children to young adults i think so well we've got the capacity to be able to deliver vaccinations for children as well as deliver a booster program so it's not an either or it's a situation about making sure that we combat this virus as best as possible and we're ready if we get the the get go from jcvi we're ready to uh the nhs which has been so successful in rolling out this program of vaccination is ready to go into schools and deliver that vaccination program for children sorry deliver the point but but i i would like to hear the words from you that you're expecting a rise and potentially a significant rise in covert infections because of children getting together again the fact is the data shows that as many as one in seven children and young people who catch covert could have the symptoms of long covered for months after this is a largely unvaccinated cadre this is a largely unvaccinated class so i think there is a responsibility on people who are telling children to get back into school to accept the fact that some of them will as a result develop long covert so this is why we're doing the testing program when we're encouraging you know children to take part in it parents and of course teachers and support staff themselves because this is how we can catch covid and we've seen over 70 million tests delivered in terms of schools and colleges over the last few months and actually this is a way of rooting out covid and you did see it was successful uh in terms of identifying covid cases and we believe by successful some would say well but but what we are trying to do is we're trying to strike that constant sensible balance of actually giving children as normal experience in the classroom as possible but also recognizing we're still dealing with a global pandemic i suppose then people would question why more has not been more action is not being done in terms of ventilation in schools we have known since midway last year perhaps even earlier than that that you know this was aerosol this was airborne and working in confined circumstances like this studio in a classroom you needed decent ventilation the only action that has been taken so far is the announcement that co2 detectors will be sent out so we'll be able to identify where ventilation is needed in schools but we're not providing the money to provide the ventilation so so we it's a whole package of measures that we've been doing and and depending on where we've been in the pandemics sort of making the judgment as to what type of contingency and support measures are there uh you're right to point out the fact that we're rolling out the co2 monitors so they can identify different areas uh there's a whole set of when we get the money for ventilation though i mean that's what the schools are calling it right now there's a whole set of measures that they can undertake in terms of actually sort of dealing with some of those challenges but of course the biggest way that we converting the women you know the biggest thing that we can actually do in terms of actually helping schools get back to normal of course has been the vaccination program and the vaccination program is there to give people the protection uh and the confidence to go back to their normal lives and that's the success of it that's why uh unlike in march where we had to have so many more restrictions as children go back in september you know they can have that normal school experience again that we want for all our children i don't want to stress anyone going back into school on day one about you know the prospect of exams later on this year but they do need to know how they will be judged on on which way their merits will be judged this year when will do you think we'll have a definitive answer as to what will happen exam time next year i think that's a really important issue that you raise that's why back in july before schools broke up for summer we set out to schools and to all that we're interested in it what that process of assessment would look like for this academic year that we're just entering uh we wanted to give people the confidence of what they'd have we obviously understandably have to do a public consultation we've done that public consultation and uh we we look forward to very much confirming as to uh the sort of the proposals that we've been sort of uh putting forward explaining to schools what that looks like this is the side of the next kind of you know the next fortnight's holiday imminently uh very very imminently but we've given schools a real sense and real taste what it looks like what it'll feel like uh so they can have a confidence to plan i did want to ask you about this and i don't want to rehash the arguments that were made around the time of the of of the exam results coming up but we we know of course from the results that we got seventy percent of or of grades in the independent sector were a or a star 40 in the state sector were a or a star a huge gap between those who can pay for their education and those who can't you and i both went to comprehensive schools you and i have both sat in rooms opposite people who spent an awful lot of money on their education perhaps even around the cabinet table and have thought where did all that money go you are the one person in this conservative government who could say this is absolutely disgraceful that our killed kids are being failed then if you have enough money you can guarantee them a better quality of life i just wonder what your thoughts are on so what i the thing that drives me so much in terms of politics the reason why i wanted to become an mp is because you want to make a difference i think of so many of my friends who i went to school with you know a very normal comprehensive school up in scarborough is actually making sure that they have the right opportunity and you want to close those gaps this pandemic sadly has exacerbated some of the differences in society and we want to drive that change back and so is the funding though i mean the institute for fiscal studies has said despite the government allocating another seven billion pounds average spending per pupil in 2022 23 will still be about one to two percent lower in real terms than two thousand nine understand the past couple of years have had an effect but we are still dramatically underfunding the state education system in this country aren't we so what we've seen the last two years since the prime minister came in he's been able to deliver record funding packages not just last year but also into this year we're going into a comprehensive spending review uh it wouldn't surprise you as being education secretary i'll probably be asking for uh for more is probably what people would always be expecting but you know what we're wanting to see is world-class schools it doesn't matter it doesn't matter whether you take my point where there's this disparity between the independent sector and the state sector at a time when schools are just not getting the amount of money that they need to get from the government some of the blame for that great disparity has to fall on you yeah so this is why we've been raising the funding that we have in terms of state schools over the last two years it's a mission that the prime minister and i both share we want to make that uh different we want to make the difference for all those people that you know you know the types of people that you and i went to school with because they were our friends it's what we what we know it's the difference we want to make that is uh you know our mission we've been delivering that extra funding we want to continue to deliver that funding and we want to make that difference just briefly i'm not going to ask you about your a-level results you as a minister know what it's like to be under pressure from the papers from the broadcasters from your back benches i just wonder on the basis of what you saw from dominick rabb yesterday do you think his position is safe now absolutely the prime minister has been clear he has complete confidence in the work that the foreign secretary has been doing you're seeing dom going out to out to doha and qatar today in order to be able to make a difference in terms of leading negotiations playing a global role to make sure that those people who are still in afghanistan that need safe passage have that safe package passage out of afghanistan so busy day for you as indeed it is for plenty of kids up and down the country we'll let you go thanks very much uh we had to mention there the foreign secretary dominic rabb has flown to qatar in an effort to negotiate the government's attempt to get more british nationals out from afghanistan our correspondent sally locke joins us live from doha sally just bring us up to date with the latest do we know who he's meeting with where he's meeting yeah that's right dominic rad the foreign secretary arrived in doha last night we understand he'll be meeting with qatari government leaders such as the emir of qatar as well as the deputy prime minister and the foreign minister the foreign minister uh absolutely no suggestion dominic rob will be meeting with members of the taliban leadership who of course have had their political office here for years now but the uk is in talks with the taliban already now on the agenda we understand to be priority number one evacuating those remaining british nationals from afghanistan and also ensuring safe passage for any afghan citizens who are still in the country who worked for the british military in the last 20 years that's number one on the agenda but they also will be discussing the security and humanitarian issues happening and unfolding in afghanistan the threat of isis k of course how they deal with that in collaboration with the taliban but also the unfolding humanitarian issues such as the fact that the majority of foreign aid has been frozen into afghanistan that remains the case afghanistan's economy is heavily reliant on it many people still can't access cash one in three afghans have no idea where their next meal is coming from the taliban yes is in control of the country now wields the power but we don't know who their government is yet and we have no idea what their plan is for running the country i can tell you that qatari officials and turkish officials flew into kabul airport yesterday technical teams to look at getting the airport back up and running we understand that they are working on the radar system that's encouraging news there's already a runway there the infrastructure is there if they get the radar system up and running then we could see flights resuming into kabul uh very soon but there is a very uh sensitive issue of security who's going to run that at the airport uh the taliban want to so far the turks and the qataris have said no that is not going to happen stalemate there but certainly some progress that those technical teams are already in the country and certainly progress that the foreign secretary is here now in the region attending talks as well sally many thanks indeed it's always nice we've got some good news to bring you in the morning and this is the best damn serious story has become britain's most successful paralympian ever winning her 17th gold medal on a very successful morning for gb's cyclist nbc reporter heather cox is in tokyo and has this roundup of all the action from day 10 of the paralympics and indeed what we still have to look forward to some more historic moments happening here today in tokyo in the woman's road race dame sarah's story won her 17th paralympic gold medal surpassing swimmer mike kenny's previous record of 16 for great britain story's teammate crystal lane wright finished with the silver making it the third time the two have finished one two in these games and the headline at track and field is all about conditions we've seen rain the past few days here in tokyo particularly heavy at olympic stadium where athletes have been slipping on the slick track the rain is back again today and is forecasted to continue into the night where we'll see american daniel roman chuck who narrowly captured gold in the hundred meter go for a second gold in the 800 an event in which he holds the current world record and tonight it's the women's semifinals in wheelchair basketball as germany faces off with the netherlands while china takes on team usa who are looking for their fifth paralympic gold the united states is led by team captain natalie schneider the 38 year old mother of three who hopes to set the tone for her young team now let's focus just a little bit more on the gb pad olympic team shanghai matariki is in the newsroom and he'll be sharing my excitement this morning not least because of all the pun opportunities that sarah's story's name provides what a fantastic story for example morning nile a fantastic story indeed overnight history was made as sarah story became the greatest british paralympian of all time winning her 17th gold medal in that c45 road race passing the swimmer mike kenny's mark which he set in 1988 all those years ago it's her third goal of these games and it wasn't easy though the conditions in the race were damp and rainy probably closer to those she's seen in manchester as opposed to those you normally get in a summer in tokyo in the shadow of mount fuji and with two laps to go she trailed the race by 75 seconds before storming clear winning seven seconds clear of her teammate crystal lane wright who is also part of paralympics gb and her journey is not just one of success but remarkable longevity if you remember that she taking it back to 1992 when she started her paralympic journey she was a 14 year old swimmer now as a 43 year old she's the most decorated paralympian in the history of our country so plenty to celebrate i'm layered shanghai thanks very much indeed time to see how the weather is looking as we nudge towards the weekend [Music] look forward to brighter skies the weather sponsored by qatar airways and for the next week while it will be mainly dry with sunny spells developing more widely but it will turn more unsettled from sunday mostly mild and quite cloudy at the moment some hill fog and a few drizzly outbreaks in the east but western parts are clearer and rather chilly some mist and fog patches in the countryside the morning we'll see sunny spells developing widely away from the north sea coasts after a mainly grey start with scotland once again having the best of the sunshine fairly cool overall especially near the eastern coasts the weather sponsored by qatar airways they say that two is always better than one and that's definitely the case in sri lanka right now as twin elephants have been born twin elephants for the first time in 80 years oh that's quite sweet the male calves are born to 25 year old female surangi and 17 year old male pandu which is a bit of a cougar at the pinnawala elephant orphanage in the sri lankan hills and who can fail to be cheered up by that on a thursday morning still to come after the break we will be discussing the somewhat perilous situation for female judges in afghanistan we'll be speaking to one woman who escaped the taliban one who still fears for her life inside the country [Music] [Music] extremely excited and actually can't quite believe um that one of my images has been chosen um so i'm still very you know feeling over the moon and it's just very surreal for me so i was really lucky to be in tanzania in the serengeti during july and august of last year and this is a time when the wildebeest migration is at its peak there are millions of antelope species migrating through the landscape and we just happened to see this lioness as she pounced upon a wildebeest and we drove over re-angled the vehicle and this female was enjoying a morning feast and unfortunately the poor wildebeest was still alive and as we drove the vehicle closer she looked up at us and just gave us this intense challenging stare she was almost warning us away from her kill and she just happened to look straight down my camera lens and you can see her face is just covered in this bright red oxygenated blood i mean her kill was as fresh as can be first and foremost i'm actually a conservation biologist and i started taking photos on the side alongside my research and definitely the more you're out there the more opportunities you have to see these incredible behaviors that you might not necessarily see if you're only there for a week or two and so absolutely it's a combination of luck but also just developing your skill and your eye as a photographer i feel like i've definitely come a long way in the time that i've been using my camera so but yeah luck plays a critical role i think the best thing about photography is it really is a universal language you know you don't have to speak english to understand what's going on in a photo um i think it's just one of the best ways to try and talk about the issues that are going on in the natural world right now it's estimated that around 70 of our coastlines are experiencing increased erosion [Music] we start with a steel structure that we put into the sea floor we then pass a very small electrical current between what we call an anode and the cathode the structure itself is the cathode [Music] [Music] [Music] welcome back hundreds of thousands of pupils are returning to their classrooms this week with experts predicting a surge in covered 19 cases linked to schools reopening a short while ago i spoke to the education secretary gavin williamson and pressed him on whether the government expects cases to rise over the coming weeks we are having to strike a sensible balance a sensible balance to making sure that children get the very best education we aren't expecting cases to rise we must be but this is why you know we're doing the mass testing in schools because we want to identify those cases and as i say you're going to see 9 million plus tests carried out over the next few weeks really trying to spot those covid cases before they go into school in terms of the children they're getting back to school today children young adults of course getting back into school today it will be markedly different from the conditions that they left the other side of the term end to bubbles then to the kind of the yearly exclusion of whole years face masks certainly not being mandated in schools i mean jeff barton and from the association of school and college leaders suggested it feels a little like a case of hitting hope on the part of the government why did we not continue with some of those mitigations well we have continued with uh sort of key elements of mitigations including for testing but there's a big difference between schools returning uh this september compared to when schools returned last september uh and in march and the key difference is that the british population everyone who's of uh uh every adult has been offered not just one jab but two and of course vaccines are the thing that have been the game changer that's the reason that we've been able to lift national restrictions but for me children getting a normal education experience as it was pre-pandemic is so vital because we've got to put them first above all of us uh let's have a chat with our political correspondent tomorrow cohen money tc i've got to say i'm i'm vaguely surprised actually that despite the pressing we pressed for longer than just just that clip from the interview you know the education secretary would not concede that which everyone knows to be the case if you open up the schools and you have people mixing together indoors and there will be a rise in covert cases yes and that's what we've seen in scotland where the schools opened two or three weeks ago in the past week there's been an 80 rise in cases that nicola sturgeon has called extremely alarming everyone is expecting a similar thing to happen in schools in england and wales now they're opening for many of them today or the beginning of next week and the education secretary was open about the fact that things are in many respects back to pre-pandemic there are no bubbles in primary schools there are no masks the parents can gather outside the big difference he said is that in secondary schools there will be testing now that testing is not mandatory it is encouraged that all children and teachers do two lateral flow tests a week and they hope that that will keep a lid on the number of covered cases because anyone who has any symptoms will be sent home and anyone who's been in contact them will will be tested more regularly but still there is no recognition from government that there may be a very steep rise in cases and although the education department say they are doing contingency plans for what might happen if there are very high numbers of cases in a certain area he gave very little away about what new measures might be brought in tomorrow for now thanks very much indeed this is a fascinating story one of the world's leading female footballers who fled from her home in afghanistan has told sky news that she doesn't believe that the taliban have changed nadia nadim grew up in a refugee camp after her father was executed by the taliban when she was just 11 years old since then she's played for top clubs in both europe and the united states this guy sadia chaudhary was able to speak to her she defied the odds to become a star in global football but nadia nadim hoped she'd be the only one that would have to do that the afghanistan she'd left behind was changing her father's killers had been ousted and girls could try and mimic her moves on the football pitch but last month all that changed it's been heartbreaking to watch what's happening in afghanistan right now just because i felt we were over that stage i was like in the you know back in the history and it would not repeat itself and i know what that means for for the future of the country what it means for the development of of the country what it means for the women and the girls after her father's death nadia and her family fled first to pakistan and then to europe she made denmark's national team and last season as liga champion with paris saint-germain she perhaps gave thousands of young afghan girls the belief they too could rise to the top how do you feel about young girls who would have watched you playing football and have dreams of playing football of their own what would you say to them now that's a hard one i don't know what to say to them because i know they don't they're not gonna have the opportunity to do so but i i wanna say that people should try to keep their hopes up even though that it really really looks like a dark situation many people are saying the taliban have changed do you believe they've changed um no i don't think so i think they're the wolves that are you know uh disguised themselves and shift right now and then the true call is going to come true my dad was killed by the taliban so i know what they stand for and what their values are today the country is once again controlled by the group that killed her father a devastating reality for nadia i think there's a lot of similarities i think right now because it's a transition and so they're kind of i still feel like low-key holding them back but if you see what's happening in the airports and people trying to hang on planes and falling out of skies no one would react that way if if you were not scared nadia still remembers the fear that drove her from her childhood home chaos and horror just like today she says and the feeling of being powerless sadia chaudhary sky news a remarkable woman uh elsewhere cristiano ronaldo has broken the men's international goal scoring record after converting two late headers portugal coming from a goal down to beat the republic of ireland 2-1 in their world cup qualifier those goals taking his tally to 111 international goals smashing iran's ali dais record of 109. the end of furlough and cuts in universal credit could cause a significant rise in homelessness according to campaigners the housing organization crisis says that a lack of access to broadband will exclude many people from being able to get support complaints about noisy neighbours rose by more than a quarter during lockdown research out today suggests that more than a thousand calls were received every day by councils across the uk last year at dudley in west midlands saw the highest number of complaints sky news has heard allegations that jehovah's witness elders have failed to act over child sexual abuse claims in their church speaking to alleged victims the claims range from a failure to report cases to the police to the demand for high thresholds of proof from the victims our home affairs editor jason farrell reports now on the group that presents a gentle image on your doorstep but now faces damaging claims these children now grown up are speaking out about an institution they believe to this day is failing to protect young people from predatory pedophiles and to learn from mistakes of the past emily who doesn't want to be identified was sexually abused from the age of four by a ministerial servant of the jehovah's witnesses in loughborough aged 8 she reported it to church elders those in charge of governing and disciplining the congregation i was very young and sort of said i don't like the way he touches me what followed was a series of failings that allowed him to continue sexually abusing children for years to come which victims say is a larger cultural problem within the organization speaking about jehovah became a wonderful joy and jehovah's witnesses have a gentle image of those spreading the faith but there's a mistrust of non-believers and it's one of the reasons why serious allegations such as child abuse often aren't taken to the police but instead handled internally they had a similar kind of meeting with him about it all and unbeknownst to me he actually admitted it to them and then after that they continued to tell me that i'd misunderstood it there was no kind of reprimand for him i still had to interact with him i actually got told off for not sitting on his knee the abuser peter stewart repented and said there were no other victims when in fact there were at least four others including two sisters who were speaking out together for the first time because they believed him he was allowed to continue in the congregation and my abuse and my sister's abuse was allowed to continue amelia didn't report her abuse until after peter stewart had been jailed for abusing two other children he admitted to it and asked for forgiveness in this letter to the girl's mother when he came out of prison she tried to stop him rejoining the congregation they decided that they didn't believe me because i didn't have a a credible second witness and because they have obviously the two witness rule within the jehovah's witness church yes the second person has to have seen what happened they do and it's not just the two witness rule the second witness has to be a credible witness rachel the elder sister who was abused first wishes she'd spoken out sooner i always thought that if i'd have said that first time if i'd have spoken out the first time when he'd kissed me it wouldn't happen to him emilia successfully sued the organization for failing to protect her there are 130 000 jehovah's witness members in england and wales with a large central campus in essex if elders receive a complaint about child abuse they will contact the head office here in chelmsford and they will consult their legal department as well as this handbook shepard the flock of god only elders can open it and they are all men with no external child protection training so what does the book tell them well it reinforces much of what we've already heard eyewitnesses there must be two or three eyewitnesses not just people repeating hearsay no action can be taken if there's only one witness lacy jones was abused from the age of 10 for over a decade by an elder in the west midlands clifford whiteley she has waived her anonymity to explain what happened when she told elders at her kingdom hall in 2019 that she was going to the police the first thing they said was it's your absolute right it's your absolute right to go to the police however what they don't tell you is that they will not cooperate cliff had confessed to the elders and they refused to hand over that confession to the police police eventually got a record of the confession via a warrant and whiteley was jailed for nine years in 2020 in a statement the organization said when elders learn that someone in the congregation is accused of child sexual abuse they immediately take steps to ensure the matter is reported to the external secular authorities as may be required by law or if it appears that a child may be in danger of abuse elders do not shield a perpetrator from the legal consequences of his sin do not interfere with law enforcement and leave criminal matters to the secular authorities any suggestion that jehovah's witnesses cover up child abuse or in any way discourage or frown upon reporting allegations to the secular authorities is absolutely false the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse is due to report its findings into religious organizations including jehovah's witnesses later on whether senior members of the church will act on them is another matter jason farrell sky news more from jason on the website of course but after the break we will be discussing the concerns of rising covert cases as students head back to school [Music] [Music] do [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] [Applause] they say they can't go back to myanmar yet if they do they fear they'll be killed we take you to the heart of the stories that shape our world if there is a bigger explosion this area would be in the danger zone these traffic jams snake for hours up and down this hillside we know that 800 000 people have been displaced i think experiencing the two million person march in hong kong that was a moment [Applause] [Music] please have been tear gas and rubber bullets you see fires all around us here siobhan robbins sky news bangkok [Music] it was my vision to come and protect old life in future [Music] animals like lion can enter into bomas they kill their livestocks and this leads to human wildlife [Music] did you know that if we make small changes to our lives we can reduce air pollution by loads but how much exactly loads high pressure stays with us until the weekend so the weather stays really quite quiet the best of the sunshine in the northwest but uh through the course of the day we will find the cloud thinning and breaking to give some bright or sunny spells temperatures typically in the mid to late teens but we could see a high of 24 degrees celsius over parts of scotland that's 75 degrees fahrenheit now the air remains fairly clear because we're in this northeasterly flow but the winds going round to the east so we could just see one or two pockets of moderate air pollution most likely in the south today the air quality report sponsored by phillips air purifiers now pupils start to return to classrooms in england and wales this morning and what could prove to be a big test for the government's education policies in england pupils will now be able to mix with other year groups face coverings are optional and contacts of a positive case will no longer have to isolate automatically joining us now on the programme dr ivonne doyle medical director for public health england dr dawg great to see you this morning and then i think plenty to discuss about how covert 19 may well affect our schools moving forward but could we just start with a very general very broad question i mean how important in your mind is it that our young peoples very young all the way up to late teens how important is it that they get back into schools and have a proper goal at face-to-face learning this year good morning neil it's very important uh being in education face to face in person is good for children young people it's good for their education but that's actually very good for their health as well and if children young people are unfortunate enough to pick up a coveted infection it's generally very mild and it they may not even know they've got that and we know from our regular surveys that schools are not the hubs of infection they reflect what's going on in the local community but we are causes we want young people to take two tests in person on site in the school in the first week and then twice per week at home until at least the end of september just to pick up those late summer viruses that they may have picked up elsewhere and i i take your point about what happened what happens in schools reflects what happens in communities but of course you know the schools have been closed for the summer holiday we will have people mixing together indoors often in not particularly well ventilated areas i mean we will see a rise in covid as a result of this won't we we're expecting to see more cases because we'll be testing for that precisely neil so we are asking the students to take these tests and then to do this throughout september and that is to protect them and those around them but also to ensure that there's the minimal disruption to their education just in terms of of long covert it was something we spoke about with the education sector a little bit earlier on and it's slightly outside of his brief but it does have an effect on the children for whom he has responsibility perhaps is one in in seven young people now displaying signs of of suffering from some form of long covert months after their initial infection i mean i i understand the mortality is not something that younger people need to worry about but they can still suffer some pretty significant effects though so this is a long covet is the subject of a lot of study and we still don't fully understand that and particularly how long long is in younger people so i think this is something that is under a constant review and actually long covert isn't one particular disease it's a series of syndromes and it really does need to be better understood can we talk about something which we do we do know a reasonable amount and that is that the mental health of our young people and the negative impact that being away not just from education but from their friends has in a social circumstance social circumstances has had i mean just in terms of the return to school in protecting our young people's mental health it is of huge significance again isn't it very much so and this is part of the the healthiness of being at school and and we're very supportive of children being back at school we would want the school we always have but particularly now we're in a different year to last year many more people are vaccinated 16 to 17 year olds are backs are offered vaccination and i would encourage them to accept that and of course the 12 to 15 year olds who are clinically vulnerable are also offered vaccination so this school is the right place to be we want uh young people now to catch up on their education it's good for their mental health it's good for their physical health neil as well and there are a number of measures in place in schools it's a it's a package of hygiene uh of cleansing uh good good ventilation where they're in enclosed bases the testing is really important in september and i'd stress that again and of course the vaccination offers now if a young person has been in close contact with a case they will be offered a pcr test as well and they'll be provided with advice in order not to put clinically vulnerable people at risk so there's a whole package in place here to try and keep our young people in education just one question on variance away from schools although it may well have have an effect on schools we're starting to see some concerns raised about about the colombian variant i mean how much do we know well this is under surveillance all the time we have a very active genomics program in the uk we're very connected to the who so and internationally so the uk is a net donor on genomics uh to the world really about surveillance and we we're watching this very carefully obviously uh we will want to ensure that everyone plays their role in keeping transmission of the virus low because if that doesn't happen variants get a better chance of just developing but the predominant variant at the moment is still the delta variant and we know a great deal about that we know that the vaccines work pretty well against it where are you in your mind about this the strength of the arguments for vaccinating more than just the clinically vulnerable in the age group 12 to 15. well this is a policy decision first and foremost but it's also a scientific discussion that's underway with the joint committee on vaccination and immunization that's very topical at the moment i think we need to leave it to them they are they will consider very carefully the balance of risk and benefit but more groups have been offered for the conversation we're having now young people the 16 to 17 year olds are now offered vaccination and extremely clinically vulnerable people will always be in sight for vaccination dr evan doyle from public health england great to see you this morning thanks very much for your time thank you you<br><!-- wp:image {"id":1776,"sizeSlug":"large","linkDestination":"none"} -->rn<figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img class="wp-image-1776" src="https://en.videoencontexto.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Sky_News_Breakfast_Back_to_school_raises_questions_over_COVID19_numbers_UEaizutfpp8.jpg" alt="Sky News Breakfast: Back to school raises questions over COVID-19 numbers" /></figure>rn<!-- /wp:image 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Sky News Breakfast: Back to school raises questions over COVID-19 numbers

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