The latest school attendance figures show a collapse in school attendance due to the spread of coronavirus in schools.

876,000 pupils did not attend school last week for reasons related to coronavirus.

More than 1 in 5 (22%) secondary pupils were absent and 1 in 8 primary pupils (13%). Three quarters (73%) of secondary schools had pupils self-isolating up from two thirds (64%) the week before. Almost a third of primary schools (29%) had pupils self-isolating, up from a fifth (22%) the week before.

The number of schools closed is still low (1%) but it is more than double the week before.

Commenting on the latest figures, Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:

“This collapse in school attendance is the direct result of the Government’s negligence. They have taken almost no measures to protect schools, pupils and staff from the spread of coronavirus this term.

“We have always been waved away when we have called for action to protect schooling, and Government has refused to look at including schools in a ‘circuit break’ to get cases in schools down. They have also refused to look at planning for reduced class sizes or school rotas to keep cases down.

“Schools and teachers are working incredibly hard to keep the system running without any support or resources from the Government. The situation has reached a crisis point and the Government cannot let coronavirus run riot in schools any longer.”

ENDS

2020-216-NEU

Press contacts:
Press Office direct line: 0207 380 4706
Out of hours: 07879 480 061