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Attendance data shows stark divides in Covid disruption across England

attendance Covid


Some areas of England had more than one in ten secondary pupils absent because of potential contact with Covid in school towards the end of last term, new attendance data shows.

The Department for Education has published attendance data by local authority area for the second half of the spring term. It comes after national data showed around 3.3 per cent of pupils were absent due to Covid on March 25.

On that date, the proportion of secondary pupils self-isolating because of potential contact in school ranged from none in five areas of the country to 13.8 per cent in Thurrock, 10.8 per cent in Hull and 8.2 per cent in Barnsley, the East Riding of Yorkshire and Bolton.

At primary level, absences because of potential contact in school ranged from none in nine local authority areas to 8.2 per cent in Sandwell, 6.9 per cent in Tameside and 6.8 per cent in Rotherham.

However, the latest national data shows the proportion of pupils absent due to Covid fell slightly the following week.

When excluding areas which were already in their Easter holidays, the DfE estimates around 2.4 per cent of pupils were absent due to Covid on March 31.

Around 1.5 per cent of pupils were self-isolating due to potential contact with a Covid case in school, while 0.5 per cent were self-isolating because of potential contact outside school. Just 0.1 per cent were absent because of a confirmed case of Covid and 0.3 per cent were absent because of a suspected case.

Around 2,000 pupils were unable to attend school because it was closed for Covid-related reasons.

Overall, attendance in secondary schools not on Easter holidays was 87 per cent, similar to the figure for March 25. Attendance was 93 per cent in primary schools, up from 92 per cent the previous week, and attendance in special schools remained steady at 82 per cent.



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