In-person school attendance in the UK still high amid COVID-19 lockdown

As the UK continues to grapple with a surge in coronavirus cases, reports indicate that in-person school attendance is at an all-time high, with some schools recording more than 50 percent attendance.

The Department of Education has continued to discourage in-person school attendance following the reintroduction of coronavirus lockdown after a spike in COVID-19 cases in the UK. The current guidance on who should return for in-person learning calls for only children of key workers to attend classes in-person. However, this guideline has been broad in many circumstances and parents were able to circumnavigate the rules and send their children for in-person classes.

The Department of Education, realizing this, called on parents to practice the practice of lockdown and keep the kids at home to curb the spread of the pandemic in the country. Key workers, according to the guidelines, included charity workers, religious staff, the justice system workers, food production workers and financial workers.

Coronavirus data infection in schools shows that, by Christmas, one in 30 secondary pupils had coronavirus in the UK.

In-person school attendance at an all-time high

Two weeks after school reopening, a new set of data on school reopening painted a distressing picture for a country looking to curb the spread of coronavirus through lockdowns. The data showed that a third of schools in the UK had more than 20 percent in-person school attendance.

The data from Teacher Tapp also showed that 35 percent of primary schools had over 20 percent class attendance and about 15 percent of primary schools had over 30 percent of their students attending in-person classes.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of ASCL also indicated that they had received reports showing that some primary schools were having over 50 percent class attendance, attributing this to the demand for critical workers in the country. 

In comparison to the first lockdown in March, where only one percent of schools in the UK had over 20 percent of in-person class attendance, the Department of Education will have to work hard if the spread of coronavirus in the country is to be curbed.