Great Britain

Over a million kids missing school during wave of suspected Covid outbreaks, figures reveal

OVER a million kids in England are missing school amid a wave of suspected Covid outbreaks, alarming stats show.

While the number of schools partly closed because of the virus has rocketed by 400 per cent in a week.

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The gloomy stats pile yet more pressure on Boris Johnson to sort out the testing crisis to keep kids in class.

Kevin Courtney, boss of the National Education Union, said: "It is clear from the latest statistics that the Government is failing in its duty to reduce the infection rate and to provide pupils and teachers with tests in a timely fashion.

“This is eroding trust among parents, and it will be an uphill struggle for it to be regained.”

Around one in eight – or 13 per cent of children - were absent from class on September 17.

This means around 1.46m out of England’s 8.82m kids are missing out on lessons.

Usually, only around 5 per cent pupils are missing from class.


The gloomy stats also show that 4 per cent of schools were partly closed because of suspected outbreaks on September 17.

This has rocketed from 1 per cent the week before and equates to around 970 nationwide.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “It’s encouraging to see that 99.9 per cent of schools are open, meaning millions of children and young people continue to benefit from direct interaction with their friends and teachers."

"As we would expect, this data shows a small number of pupils are self-isolating in line with public health advice, and schools, colleges and early years settings across the country continue to work tremendously hard to ensure protective measures are in place to reduce the risks of transmission.

"All have access to timely advice and support through our helpline if they have a positive case.

“The fact so many schools are open is testament to that hard work and, crucially, means children and young people can continue their education with minimal disruption.”

Children face being turned away from Covid test centres as Matt Hancock rations swabs

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