A joint letter from eight school staff unions is calling on the Government to reveal how many cases of the new Covid-19 variant are being found at schools and colleges in England, The Guardian reports.
The letter comes as outbreaks have forced a number of schools to close or send children home.
The unions including the ASCL, NASUWT, NAHT and NEU wrote to education secretary Gavin Williamson asking for the data held by the Government and Public Health England (PHE) to be released.
The joint letter says there are “growing concerns around the variant B.1.617.2 and reports from areas such as Bolton that cases are growing fastest amongst school-age children.”
Last weekend, The Observer ran a report suggesting that Downing Street “leaned on” Public Health England not to publish the data – just days before Boris Johnson said that face coverings would no longer be a requirement in schools.
A spokesperson for Public Health England said it would publish the data once it was “happy the collection process and data is robust and quality assured, and presented in a clear format we will publish for schools alongside other key settings as soon as possible.”
Although the number of school closures remains small, in the past week the numbers appear to have increased, with some schools deciding to switch to remote learning for the final week before the half-term holidays.