Responding to new data which shows 623,000 children were out of school due to coronavirus last week 

Kate Green MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“This data shows the Conservatives’ staggering failure to keep kids learning.

“By failing to control our borders Ministers have let the Delta variant take hold, forcing kids out of their classrooms and away from their friends.

“Parents, pupils and teachers have had days of mixed messages, what they need now is absolute clarity about what measures will be taken to keep kids in school and stop this spiralling of Covid cases.”

Green will deliver Labour’s response to a statement in Parliament on easing of restrictions in education today, when she will welcome the expected move away from bubbles but challenge the Education Secretary to publish the evidence for this decision giving parents confidence the alternative to bubbles will keep kids in school.

She will say:

“Labour wants nothing more than for children to be in class learning and spending time with friends. The Government have consistently failed to deliver this. The bubbles system must end but today’s statement offers no clarity on how the Government will stop infections spiralling. The Conservatives’ inadequate testing regime, lack of action on ventilation and their recklessness at the border have put our children’s education at risk. They must not continue to make the same mistakes.”

Commenting as the latest school attendance figures from the government show not just another increase in the number of children self-isolating due to contact with Covid in school, but also a huge increase in confirmed Covid cases,

Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of school leaders' union NAHT, said:

“These latest figures make for grim reading and show that the delta variant is having a huge impact on schools. Whilst the government might argue that scrapping bubbles and changing rules around self-isolation will reduce the number of pupils missing education, we should be equally worried about the significant rise we have seen in confirmed and suspected cases in a single week. These latest figures only serves to demonstrate why the government must take urgent action and put alternative measures in place to keep school communities safe. Simply hoping the problem will go away is not a realistic option.”

On 1st July 623,000 children were out of school due to Covid: 

  • 34,000 pupils with a suspected case of coronavirus, 0.5% of pupils on roll in open schools
  • 28,000 pupils with a confirmed case of coronavirus, 0.4% of pupils on roll in open schools
  • 471,000 pupils self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus from inside the educational setting, 6.3% of pupils on roll in open schools
  • 90,000 pupils self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus from outside the educational setting, 1.2% of pupils on roll in open schools
  • 0.2% of pupils were absent as a result of school closures due to COVID-related reasons.

Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – 23 March 2020 to 1 July 2021 

A summary of attendance in education settings up to 1 July 2021 and early years settings up to 24 June 2021.

Documents

Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – 23 March 2020 to 1 July 2021

https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/2021-week-27

Details

The data on explore education statistics shows attendance in education settings since Monday 23 March 2020, and in early years settings since Thursday 16 April 2020. The summary explains the responses for a set time frame.

The data is collected from a daily education settings status form and a weekly local authority early years survey.

Previously published data and summaries are available at attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Published 6 July 2021

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