School attendance 'well below' 90 per cent at Wakefield secondaries last month

Pupil attendance in Wakefield secondary schools fell "well below" 90 per cent last month because of Covid.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 5:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 5:36 pm
Covid continues to disrupt pupils' education.

Wakefield Council said the impact of the virus on young people and their education continued to be "significant".

The figure was published in a report by the council's Cabinet member for children and young people, who said headteachers had been advised to minimise large gatherings within school.

Attendance has since climbed over the last month, with the vaccine programme having been rolled out to children in their early teens.

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Coun Isherwood said the end of lockdown had resulted in "inconsistent" attendance levels.

Councillor Margaret Isherwood said: "Research shows that attendance below 90 per cent has a direct impact on pupils’ academic success.

"This term has seen inconsistent attendance for many young people as a result of the opening up of society.

"By mid-October, the average attendance in our secondary schools was well below 90 per cent."

In her report going before fellow councillors next week, Coun Isherwood said the work of healthcare professionals and school staff in delivering jabs to 12 - 15 year-olds had been "positive".

She added: "Wakefield Public Health has responded to raised local infection levels by advising schools to minimise large gatherings, promote face coverings, and maximise ventilation in workspaces.

"As we head towards the end of term we are seeing the impact of initiatives, such as these, helping secondary attendance to improve significantly to around 90 per cent."

Covid case rates in Wakefield are now among West Yorkshire's highest, following a rise over the last couple of weeks.

The latest data available suggests around 420 people per 100,000 tested positive between November 10 and November 16.

Local Democracy Reporting Service