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NEU comment on ONS school infection rate figures

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Latest @ONS school infection rate figures 

Secondary school infection rates have rebounded since half term and it appears that the lockdown has done nothing to slow the increase in infection amongst school age pupils. 

The rate of infection amongst secondary age pupils has risen by 51 times since the start of September and they have a significantly higher rate of infection than any other age group. Primary and secondary age children are the only age groups with an increasing rate of infection. 

There were 124 confirmed outbreaks in secondary schools in the week following half term. Secondary and primary schools were the 2nd and 3rd most commonly reported location by people testing positive for coronavirus. 

Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union said:

 “The Government cannot bury their heads in the sand about coronavirus transmission in schools any longer. There is very clear evidence that secondary age pupils are catching the virus in school and on their way to school, and then passing it to their families. In these circumstances the Government cannot expect schools to ran as normal with almost no measures to protect staff and pupils.  

“The Government’s failure to break the chains of transmission in schools means this period of lockdown will not result in cases falling to any significant degree – we will be in the same place on Dec 2 as we were on Nov 5 when we needed to introduce the lockdown because cases were so high.  

“Today’s missive to school leaders forbidding them to move to rotas is another example of the Government failing to act to suppress viral transmission in schools and from them to the community. The Government’s refusal to give school’s any money to deal with coronavirus this term speaks volumes.” 

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