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COVID-19: 375,000 school pupils absent over virus

Written by on 29 June 2021

The number of children off school due to COVID-19 in England is at its highest rate since schools reopened in March, latest government figures show.

Data released by the Department of Education shows around 5.1% of all pupils in state-funded schools did not attend school for COVID-19 related reasons on 24 June – a total of 375,000 children.

This is up from 3.3% on 17 June and 1.2% on 10 June.

In primary schools, 4.5% of children did not attend due to virus-related reasons on 24 June, up from 2.7% on 17 June and 1.1% on 10 June.

In total, 24,000 children were off with suspected cases of coronavirus and 15,000 stayed at home after testing positive.

The majority of absentees, 279,000 students, were self-isolating due to potential contact with a COVID-19 case from inside their educational setting.

In comparison, 57,000 were isolating after potentially coming into contact with a person who tested positive for the virus from outside their school, which is around 0.8% of all pupils in state-funded schools in England.

0.1% of children were absent as a result of school closures due to COVID-related reasons.

The data comes following calls for ministers to reconsider