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Email: press.office@naht.org.uk 

 

NAHT comments on school attendance figures - action needed to reduce Covid transmission in schools

Commenting on the most recent school attendance data released by the government today, which shows another increase in the number of children not attending school for Covid-related reasons, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

"Schools have seen another huge drop in attendance as we near the end of term, with much of this absence due to pupils isolating. However, there has also been a sharp rise in the number of confirmed Covid cases in schools.

"The government’s reasoning behind removing ‘bubbles’ and school isolation requirements was to reduce disruption to children’s education and stop them missing school. But with cases rising we are seeing more and more children actually off sick. Unless some action is taken to prevent transmission in schools, disruption to children’s education looks set to continue.

“The government’s own modelling predicts that the number of cases among children and young people is only going to get worse by the start of next term. Parents and school leaders will therefore be looking to government to take urgent action to drive down case numbers among school-age children. They will want to understand the rationale and scientific evidence that underpins the decision not to vaccinate children, and to know what steps the government is taking to implement alternative safety measures in key areas such as ventilation.

“Simply doing nothing and hoping for the best next term not only fails to address the problem, it risks making things worse.”

First published 20 July 2021