COVID-19 update – Pupil and staff absence continues to rise

The latest attendance survey data published by the DfE shows another increase in both pupil and staff absence as a result of COVID-19.

3.2% of the total population were absent due to COVID-19 on October 21, compared to 2.6% the week before.  Around 2.1% of teachers and leaders and 1.8% of teaching assistants and other staff were absent on October 21, compared to 1.8% and 1.6% the week before.

Speaking to the Education Committee on Wednesday, Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi said that there are “no plans whatsoever" to close schools again during the pandemic. Mr Zahawi has also written an open letter to parents, carers and guardians about the importance of children aged 12-15 getting the vaccine.  Teaching unions continue to call upon the government to do more to reduce the disruption to schools through such measures as encouraging home-testing and funding air ventilation systems.