Proportion of schools open more widely falls as end of term nears

The proportion of schools open more widely to pupils in selected year groups has begun to fall as the end of term nears.

New attendance data published by the Department for Education estimates that around 91 per cent of schools and colleges were open in some capacity on July 9, down from 93 per cent on July 2.

The proportion of primary schools open to reception, year 1 or year 6 pupils fell from 88 per cent to 87 per cent between July 2 and July 9, while the proportion of secondary schools offering some face-to-face support for year 10 or 12 pupils fell to 73 per cent on July 9, down from 75 per cent on July 2.

However, the DfE said its figures included independent schools and further education colleges, “many of which have now closed for the summer holidays”.

In schools that were open, attendance levels continued to rise in most year groups.

The data shows that 43.9 per cent of reception, 41.4 per cent of year 1 and 48.8 per cent of year 6 pupils were in attendance in open settings as of last Thursday, up from 43.6 per cent, 41.3 per cent and 48.6 per cent the previous week.

And attendance in open settings among year 12 pupils rose from 14.7 per cent to 15.7 per cent between July 2 and July 9.

But year 10 attendance in open settings actually fell, from 16.3 per cent to 15.8 per cent over the same period.

However, these figures represent open schools only.

Once the figures are adjusted to take account of the whole pupil population, the government estimates that 39.2 per cent of reception, 37 per cent of year 1 and 43.3 per cent of year 6 pupils were in school last Thursday.

And based on the total pupil population, 12.9 per cent of year 10s and 12.3 per cent of year 12s were in on the same date.

Overall, the government estimates that 16.9 per cent of pupils, or just over 1.6 million, were attending schools and colleges as of last Thursday, roughly the same proportion as on July 2.

The number of school staff in attendance has continued to rise.

On July 9, there were 276,000 teaching staff and 383,000 non-teaching staff in schools, up from 271,000 and 374,000 respectively on July 2.