Last week, all pupils returned to schools following more than two months of remote learning for most children.
Twice weekly testing for secondary school age pupils, their teachers and families as well as increased safety measures in schools are helping minimise the risk of Covid transmission.
The first attendance stats published since schools opened to more pupils, show the vast majority of pupils have been able to return.
In primary schools we have seen some of the highest attendance recorded since March 2020, peaking at 96%.
For secondary schools, who were provided with the option of a staggered return for pupils and students, attendance rose to 89% by Monday this week.
Overall, only 1% of students were absent from school due to Covid related reasons – either due to having to isolate or having a confirmed or suspected case of Covid – and 99.9% of schools remained open.
Thanks to testing, even students and family members who are asymptomatic are able to isolate early on, helping to protect other families and keep COVID-19 out of the classroom.
According to stats published by the Department for Health and Social Care, this landmark testing roll-out has seen over 5 million tests taken in primary schools, schools-based nurseries, maintained nursery schools, secondary schools and colleges, between the 4th and 10th of March. The total number of tests conducted across all education setting including higher education now stands at 12.3 million
Rigorous safety measures in place in schools and colleges, including maintaining distance between staff and students where possible, our current advice on face masks, as well as good ventilation and regular hand washing are also helping to ensure schools are as safe as possible.