Soaring school infection rates show 220,000 pupils absent and reckless government inaction

New Department for Education figures released today (12:00pm) show infection rates in schools are rising at a concerning rate with over 220,000 pupils now absent from school.

Government statistics show that 2.5% of pupils were absent from state-funded schools on 30th September, up from 1.5% on the previous update on 16th September.

Daisy Cooper, the Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson, has written to the Education Secretary demanding a faster roll-out of the CO2 monitors promised in August and for the government to provide schools with much needed ventilation equipment.

In the letter she expressed concern that “government inaction will lead to even more school closures and even more lost learning.” She added, that just a few weeks into the school year “schools are reintroducing some of these measures – which your government abandoned – as they battle to contain the virus and keep schools open.”

Daisy Cooper MP previously signed a letter to former Secretary Gavin Williamson alongside six Education Unions making an urgent call for ventilation measures in schools ahead of the term starting.

Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said: “With schools battling to contain infection rates and keep schools open, it’s clear that the new Education Secretary has fallen at the first hurdle.

Daisy Cooper MP

“For a second year running, this reckless government has sent children back to school without any mitigation measures in place. Parents are wringing their hands in despair.

“Our children’s education and wellbeing shouldn’t be an afterthought. We need ventilation equipment and CO2 monitors in place without any further delay.”

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