More schools partially closed, but attendance rises

The proportion of schools fully open to all pupils has fallen again, Department for Education analysis shows, but more pupils are attending school.

According to new attendance data published today, 92 per cent of state schools were fully open as of last Thursday, down from 93 per cent the previous week. It means 8 per cent of state schools – around 1,600 institutions – were partially closed.

Of all schools responding to the DfE’s survey, 7 per cent said they were not fully open due to suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19, up from 6 per cent the previous week.

The proportion of fully open secondary schools decreased from 84 per cent to 82 per cent. It means 18 per cent of secondary schools were not fully open as of last Thursday. However, attendance in those secondaries actually increased – from 84 to 86 per cent.

The DfE said that “where schools are not fully open, most pupils are still attending”.

Around 95 per cent of state-funded primary schools were fully open on October 1a similar proportion to 24 September.

Overall, 99.8 per cent of state-funded schools were open. The DfE said that of the “small proportion of schools that were closed, this was mostly due to Covid-19 related reasons”.

Attendance in state schools stood at 89.8 per cent as of last Thursday, up from 87.9 per cent the previous week.

It comes as Public Health England data showed a slight drop in the number of confirmed clusters or outbreaks in the week ending September 27. There were 225 confirmed clusters or outbreaks that week, down from 248 the week before.