According to the Times, last week nearly half of secondary schools sent home pupils due to coronavirus. The schools minister admitted he was concerned about the unfairness of education during the lockdown.
It has been reported that in England, around one in seven secondary pupils was off last Thursday and state secondaries have reported an 86 percent attendance rate (down one percent from the week before). The Department for Education also stated previous weeks showed a steady decline in the proportion of state schools that were fully open.
The Department for Education estimated that 4 – 5 percent of pupils did not attend school for Covid-19 related reasons on October 15 and the majority were self-isolating because of potential contact with a case of coronavirus. Statistics show that 16 percent of primaries, 46 percent of secondaries and 21 percent of state schools overall had pupils who were self-isolating.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: “With almost half of secondary schools and one in five primary schools affected by positive Covid cases and having to send children home, it is clearly time that action is taken to prevent this situation escalating.
“The NEU has supported calls for a two-week circuit breaker over half-term to enable government to get control of trace, track and test and lower the infection rate. The government urgently needs to look at this and at other ways of reducing transmission in schools.”
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