The variety of college students in state faculties in England plummeted within the week earlier than Christmas, authorities knowledge reveals.
Fewer than three-quarters of pupils (72%) attended secondary college lessons on 16 December, down from 80% the week earlier than, in response to the Division for Schooling.
Attendance in main faculties dropped from 89% to 86% over the identical end-of-term interval.
About 11th of September% of pupils – as much as 872,000 youngsters – didn’t attend college for Covid-related causes on Wednesday 16 December.
The bottom attendances have been recorded in London, the place the variety of youngsters in state college settings throughout the 12 months teams dropped to 67%, down from 80% on 10 December.
The south-west had probably the most youngsters in class, with 87% in whole, however that had fallen from 89% per week beforehand.
The declining numbers occurred in the identical week because the disputes between central and native authorities over maintaining faculties open amid rising coronavirus instances.
On 14 December, the training secretary, Gavin Williamson, advised Greenwich council to maintain faculties open to all pupils or face the threat of legal action.
The council chief, Danny Thorpe, had advised faculties within the south-east London borough to not reopen for the ultimate week of time period on Sunday 13 December and to as a substitute change to distant studying.
School rooms stayed open, nonetheless, after Williamson issued a short lived continuity course to Greenwich in addition to demanding it withdraw letters to headteachers and fogeys who referred to as for the closures.
A Division for Schooling spokesperson mentioned of the attendance figures: “Colleges, schools and early-years settings throughout the nation labored extraordinarily arduous to stay open all through the autumn time period, implementing security measures and offering distant training the place youngsters have been self-isolating.
“We at the moment are maintaining faculties and schools open to important employee and weak youngsters and people protecting measures stay in place to assist defend workers and college students, whereas the nationwide lockdown helps scale back transmission within the wider neighborhood.”