There has been a 30 per cent increase in the number of school pupils off school for Covid-19 related reasons in the space of a week, official figures show –The Independent reports.
The latest government data indicates more than 820,000 students in England were self-isolating and did not attend school on Thursday last week.
The number of pupils out of state schools is rising and at the highest level since March, when they started back after the second lockdown.
On 8 July, an estimated 11.2 per cent of pupils were off with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, self-isolating after being identified as a potential contact or were from schools which had closed because of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, in the independent sector, the majority of schools are now on holiday, although a number of institutions ended term early, taught online and sent boarders home.
Geoff Barton of the Association of School and College Leaders said: “This further large increase in Covid-related pupil absence is more evidence, if it were needed, of the crisis in schools and colleges caused directly by the rules requiring teachers to send home large numbers of children to self-isolate who do not necessarily have the virus.
“The government’s decision to end this disruptive policy when the autumn term begins now heralds another huge set of challenges for education settings.”
Mr Barton added that schools needed financial and practical support for on-site testing and good quality ventilation systems in the new term.
The Covid bubble system is due to be scrapped on July 19, just days before many schools break up.