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Secondary school attendance drops by 8% over first week of term

Secondary school attendance drops by 8% over first week of term

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Secondary school attendance drops by 8% over first week of term


Attendance in Secondary Schools dropped by 8% and in Primary Schools by 6% in the first week of term, figures have revealed.

Though there are currently 53 students and 3 members of staff who are off with covid, Children's Minister Deputy Scott Wickenden said that this drop "was not just about covid."

Wickenden classroom.jpg

Pictured: Children's Minister Deputy Scott Wickenden said that the drop in attendance was "not just about covid," citing Thursday's air display as a factor in Friday's lower figures too.

Speaking in yesterday's States Assembly, he said that 24 of the positive cases out of the 53 had not attended school at all.

The attendance figures were:

Tuesday

Primary Schools - 96.5%
Secondary Schools - 96.1%

Wednesday

Primary Schools - 95.9%
Secondary Schools - 94.3%

Thursday 

No school due to the air display

Friday

Primary Schools - 90.8%

Secondary Schools - 88.2% 

"The attendance was not just about covid, there were other absences that happened through school, after certainly something like an air display," Deputy Wickenden said.

He continued: "So we’re only seeing around about 10 a week in numbers on covid figures at the moment which is actually quite low, and we haven’t seen the spikes they saw in Scotland when they opened the schools up."

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Pictured: There have been nine positive lateral flow tests which have led to nine positive PCR tests, according to Deputy Wickenden.

It comes after a new system was put in place for children going back to school, whereby twice-weekly lateral flow tests are to be offered to all school staff and secondary school students starting at the beginning of the new term.

On the lateral flow test numbers, Deputy Wickenden said that as of Friday last week, there was a "figure of 9 positive lateral flow tests which turned into 9 positive PCR tests, so that proves that the lateral flow tests are having a strong impact in early detection before children go to school and mix with other children."

The Children's Minster was also asked by Senator Kristina Moore why children who were direct contacts still had to isolate, whilst unvaccinated adults who were contact traced were allowed into nightclubs.

In response, Deputy Wickenden said that "Nobody's legally required to go to a nightclub, a restaurant, a function or event - children are legally required to be in school, but we need to make sure that's safe."

He added that: "the area that concerns me why there are restrictions on schools is I don't have an abundance of teachers that I can just pull out.

"If a teacher gets contact traced, a teacher then cannot be in school for ten days, and if I lose too many teachers, I lose year groups which means even more children - not just the ones contact traced until they have a negative - will have to be at home so that's even more children without a proper education.

"And if I lose even more teachers, I'll have to close down a school, which will mean there is more children out of school and more parents who can't go to work because they're having... to take of their child."

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