ASCL comment on school attendance figures

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the school attendance statistics published today by the Department for Education.
“It does seem from these latest figures that life is returning to something approaching normal in our schools, with a Covid-related pupil absence figure of below one per cent for the first time in a very long time.
“It is still concerning, however, to note that absence among teachers and school leaders has fallen by a relatively small amount, and that 11% of schools are still reporting an absence level of more than 15% of these staff. This means that some schools are still having to heavily rely on expensive supply staff to deliver lessons as normal.
“These figures show an improvement but the fact remains that the impact of the pandemic is certainly not over. It is important that everyone remains vigilant and continues to follow the government’s guidance on testing and isolation if we are not to run the risk of a new wave of transmission and disruption in schools and colleges