<p>The number of students onsite during lockdown has risen, according to latest government data</p>

Number of students in school during lockdown rises to 15 per cent in England


Number of students in school during lockdown rises to 15 per cent in England

Number of students in school during lockdown rises to 15 per cent in England

The number of children still attending school in England rose last week, according to government figures.

Around 15 per cent of all state school pupils were onsite last Thursday, compared to 14 per cent the previous two weeks. 

This figure was 22 per cent for primary schools — up by one per cent from the week before — and stayed at five per cent for secondary schools, according to new data from the Department for Education (DfE).

The latest statistics show 850,000 children of key workers were in attendance on 28 January, compared to 813,000 on 21 January. 

This represents 70 per cent of all pupils in attendance at school last week.

During March to May last year, onsite attendance was around 4 per cent for primary schools and one per cent of secondary schools, according to government data.

Unions raised concerns earlier this month over the demand for school places this time around.

Paul Whiteman from the school leaders’ union NAHT said it was critical that school places are only taken up by parents “when absolutely necessary” in order to stem the spread of the virus.

A Department for Education (DfE) spokesperson said: “Schools remain open to vulnerable children and children of critical workers, but if critical workers can work from home and look after their children at the same time then they should do so.”

They said the department continued to “provide devices at huge speed and scale” for children who need them for remote learning. More than 927,000 laptops have been delivered to schools and councils, with around 365,000 of these since schools moved online to most pupils in early January, they said.

The DfE spokesperson added:  “We are taking every possible measure to reduce Covid cases and the protective measures that schools have been following throughout the autumn term continue to be in place to help protect staff and students, while the national lockdown helps reduce transmission in the wider community.”

Additional reporting by Press Association


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