Commenting on attendance data for education settings up to 3 February, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

“The fall in Covid-related absence is welcome but overall numbers still remain high, with around one in 25 pupils and staff absent for Covid-related reasons as a national average. In some schools and regions the figures will be much higher than this, and the Omicron wave continues to cause disruption to learning. 

“The NEU has consistently called for greater investment in air filtration and ventilation, measures which would still help to bring down current infection rates in schools and colleges and reduce the ​disruption to education.  

“This week's exams announcement acknowledges the impact of Covid on learning. As students enter their final months before national examinations it is incumbent upon Government to ensure this period of learning is as uninterrupted as possible.”