During his press conference yesterday, the Prime Minister said that around 99 per cent of schools are open and the signs are that attendance has started well, describing the picture as “confidence in action”.
The statistics are based on early intelligence from schools and gathered by the Department over the last two weeks when schools across the country began to open to all pupils.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
One of the best things that has happened in the past couple of weeks is that parents, teachers, pupils have really risen to it and the numbers I am seeing – 99.9 per cent of schools are open now and we can build on that and something like 89 per cent of pupils are back in school, perhaps more in some places. That is confidence in action.
Schools, colleges and other settings are now open to all pupils in all year groups with measures in place to ensure that pupils stay within bubbles and take precautions to minimise the risk of infections.
During the press conference, Professor Chris Whitty, the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, spoke about cases in schools since they reopened. He said: “At this point the rates in school are very low.”
The Chief Medical Officers of all four UK home nations have set out that the risks associated with staying away from school are greater than the risk of contracting the virus. They have pointed to multiple sources of evidence showing a lack of schooling increases inequalities, affects the life chances of children and can intensify physical and mental health issues.
On Monday 7 September the Secretary of State wrote to teachers, leaders and school staff to thank them for all their work in welcoming pupils back to schools, colleges and other settings up and down the country.