ASCL comment on Week 23 school attendance statistics

08/06/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the school attendance statistics published by the Department for Education today.
 
Commenting on the school attendance statistics published by the Department for Education today, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“It is very worrying, though not unexpected, that there has been an increase in Covid-related pupil absence in the week before the half term holiday. 

“We are clearly now seeing the impact of the Delta variant feeding through into these statistics, and this is reflected by the fact that absence is highest in areas that have been worst affected by the variant. 

“This means that many pupils are having to self-isolate in line with Covid protocols and will be experiencing yet more disruption. 

“Schools and colleges are doing their very best to manage this extremely difficult situation by providing remote education to pupils who are affected but it is clearly far from ideal. 

“This situation highlights the fact that the utmost caution is needed in the weeks ahead before any further easing of Covid restrictions, and the current measures must also be kept under review to see if any other actions are immediately required. 

“In the longer term, this continued disruption provides yet more evidence of the need for the government to put forward a much more ambitious education recovery plan than it has so far managed.”