One MILLION kids kept home because of coronavirus fears, according to latest figures

ONE million kids have been kept at home over coronavirus fears, latest figures reveal.

Around 900 schools sent home pupils last week amid suspected outbreaks in classrooms.

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It does not mean 1m kids have had coronavirus – but that they have seen their education interrupted over a scare in their classroom.

While children have been found not to suffer badly from the virus and are unlikely to pass it on, until tests confirm they are negative many have to wait at home for the all clear.

And as the testing system struggles under the demand since schools fully opened back up, many are not able to get a test or are waiting days to get the results.

Schools only have a limited amount of tests on site, and so are forced to send home entire year groups or bubbles until everyone is proven negative.

The number of schools partly closed because of the virus has rocketed by 400 per cent in a week.

The gloomy stats pile yet more pressure on Boris Johnson to sort out the testing crisis to keep kids in class.

Kevin Courtney, boss of the National Education Union, said: "It is clear from the latest statistics that the Government is failing in its duty to reduce the infection rate and to provide pupils and teachers with tests in a timely fashion.

“This is eroding trust among parents, and it will be an uphill struggle for it to be regained.”

SCHOOL STRUGGLE

Around one in eight – or 13 per cent of children – were absent from class on September 17.

This means around 1.46m out of England’s 8.82m kids are missing out on lessons. Usually, only around 5 per cent pupils are missing from class.

The gloomy stats also show that 4 per cent of schools were partly closed because of suspected outbreaks on September 17.

This has rocketed from 1 per cent the week before and equates to around 970 nationwide.

Overall attendance last week shows a dip from 88 to 87 per cent on the previous week.

Furious headteachers warned youngsters are being plunged into a second “lockdown by default” because of the crisis.

They have written to Boris Johnson to demand he personally sort out the mess.

This is eroding trust among parents, and it will be an uphill struggle for it to be regained.

School leaders expressed "mounting concern" and said 96 per cent of schools were having problems in accessing testing for teachers and pupils.

While frantic parents say they have been unable to get a test for their offspring, despite spending all day refreshing the website.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) warned the system is "unravelling".

He told the Telegraph: “I think we will start to see rota systems bought in because there are people waiting for tests and you simply can’t cover all the classes.

"Schools will worry about whether in fact the only way to ensure you have sufficient teachers is to move to a rota.

"I am not trying to scaremonger, but this does appear to be unravelling."

Today Boris Johnson effectively cancelled Christmas by warning that extra coronavirus rules could be in place for six months.

In a live address in the House of Commons, the PM told MPs that hospital admissions have more than doubled in the last fortnight – and Britain has reached a "perilous turning point" like in France and Spain that forced him to act.

And the PM gave warnings that "significantly greater restrictions" could be slapped on the country "if all our actions fail to bring the R below 1" in the coming weeks.

He stopped short of announcing a two-week circuit break of shutdowns to put a brake on the spread – but said the army could be brought in to help police.

 

 

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