Almost every fifth state secondary school failed to fully open last week, with most of them being due to Covid reasons, figures show.
The number of fully open state schools has decreased, although the number of students has increased slightly, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Education.
Around 82 percent of state secondary schools were fully open on October 1, up from 84 percent the week before. Facilities are considered not fully open if they are unable to provide face-to-face tuition to all students throughout the school day and have asked a group of students to self-isolate.
Overall, approximately 92 percent of state schools were fully open, up from 93 percent on September 24. This was mainly “for reasons related to Covid-19,” the DfE said.
The DfE also suggested that groups of students who are asked to self-isolate “get smaller”.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said, “This is the second week of a downward trend in the number of fully open secondary schools and means that since September 17th, the number of fully open schools has been fully open has fallen by 10 percent from 92 percent to 82 percent.
“It reflects the extremely difficult circumstances schools are operating in due to the effects of Covid. The government needs to redouble its efforts to improve the Covid testing system and ensure schools are supported with clear and consistent guidelines. “
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson replied: “The vast majority of schools are open, as has been the case since the beginning of the school year. The number of students, who attended more than 7.4 million students last week, rose two percent.
“Visiting fully open primary schools is now what we expected before the coronavirus. We will continue to work with schools to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to ensure the safety of students and staff. “