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The number of schools not fully open due to Covid-19 incidents has quadrupled in a week according to official figures.

The leader of the National Association of Head Teachers has said that the attendance figures should “ring alarm bells” for the Government.

Last week warnings were made that schools would “grind to a halt” unless testing improves. This blog post explains the latest.

Rise from 1% to 4% of schools not fully open

The rise in pupil absent has been cased by a rise in confirmed of suspected Covid-19 cases, and could mean about 900 schools are sending home pupils.

Overall attendance has dropped to 87% – which means over a million children missed schools.

Paul Whiteman, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, said:

Clearly the failure of Covid testing sits at the heart of this. The inability of staff and families to successfully get tested when they display symptoms means that schools are struggling with staff, children are missing school and ultimately that children’s education is being needlessly disrupted.

The attendance rate is far lower than what would be expected – with attendance rates usually around 95%.

An even lower proportion of vulnerable children, such as those with a social worker, were recorded as being at school, with attendance rate of 81%.

Long, hard winter

Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers’ union, said that with rising rates of infections and lack of testing, the attendance figures were “not at all surprising”.

“Frankly, it is great relief that the situation is not a lot worse,” said Mr Barton, who warned that even though schools were “working incredibly hard to manage this very difficult situation” it was going to be a “long, hard winter.”

Kevin Courtney, joint leader of the National Education Union said:

This is eroding trust among parents, and it will be an uphill struggle for it to be regained.

How EDClass can support schools not fully open

EDClass can support learners who have been sent home due to a positive case in their bubble group.

11,000+ lessons – ideal for KS3 and KS4 students – can be completed in a wide range of subjects. Live and recorded lessons are available, along with learning materials, assessments, tasks and quizzes – to aid catch-up learning. A tailored learning pathway can be identified for each student, so that they received a targeted education for their needs.

Teachers can access reports of how students are performing in their learning, monitor attendance and compare attainment with other students. Parent-friendly reports can also be printed.

The platform also protects learners with a range of safeguarding features. Alert mechanisms, chat functions and access to teachers means concerns can be raised. Further, with eyes-on learning any issues on camera can be picked up on by one of our highly trained staff. We will liaise with the school’s deputy safeguarding lead (DSL) to inform the school of any issues.

Take a free demonstration here.

For more information call 01909 568 338.