Home Breaking News Majority of secondary school pupils self-isolating

Majority of secondary school pupils self-isolating

27th Oct 20 3:42 pm

According to the Department for Education (DfE) statistics at least one pupil was sent home in England due to the virus last week.

The DfE statistics revealed around 6% to 7% of state school pupils on 22 October did not attend school due to the virus.

Excluding schools on half-term, around 26% had one or more pupils self-isolating over suspicion of potentially being in contact with another infected person at school.

This represent 20% of primary schools, with 55% of secondary schools, and the estimated attendance of the latter last week was 82%, down compared to 86% the previous week.

Primary schools’ attendance was down from 92% to 90%, and up to 18% of schools had more than 30 or more pupils self-isolating the data suggests.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said, “This analysis paints a grim picture of the increasingly challenging situation facing schools with attendance falling amidst rising Covid infection rates.

“In this turbulent context, it is crucial that schools are able to provide disadvantaged pupils with laptops so they can work from home if they have to self-isolate and do not have access to these devices.

“However, it is very clear that the government has completely underestimated the number of laptops that are needed.”

He added, “Our impression is that the Government has never fully grasped the scale of the challenge both in terms of the numbers of devices that are needed and over ensuring that families have the connectivity they require.

“It is very frustrating that progress has been so slow on this front despite the fact that it has been discussed for many months.”

A DfE spokeswoman said, “Over 99% of schools have been open every week since term began and millions of pupils were attending last week, benefiting from time with their friends and teachers.

“As we would expect, some pupils are self-isolating in line with public health advice but the average size of those groups is relatively small compared to the total number of pupils on roll.

“Remote education should be provided from the first full school day that a child has to remain at home to ensure they do not fall behind.”

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