FIFTY pupils in Coventry and 45 staff have been sent home and told to self isolate after positive cases of coronavirus were recorded in 41 schools.
Coventry City Council has reported that schools affected by one or more positive cases of Covid-19 include 21 primary schools, 16 secondary schools and four special schools.
It comes as the number of schools in England sending groups of students home quadrupled in the last week to around 900 with overall attendance dipping to 87%, according to latest official figures.
A spokesperson for Coventry City Council said: “We currently have 41 schools with one or more positive Covid-19 cases. That breaks down to 21 primary, 16 secondary, 4 special. Of the positive cases, 45 are staff and 50 are pupils. For context there are 56,000 pupils in the city.
“On top of this we do have a number of staff and pupils that are self-isolating as a precautionary measure because they are either symptomatic or have been in contact with a positive case.
“Prior to the re-opening of schools we worked in partnership with all schools and Public Health England to ensure there were clear processes in place for schools to act quickly and appropriately should they become aware of a positive Covid-19 test.
“As a partnership we are of course closely monitoring the situation and we are pleased that on the occasions a positive case has been identified the school has acted swiftly in accordance with the processes set out. We would continue to urge any pupil or member of staff to stay off school and get tested should they become symptomatic.”
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teacher, said: “The government would have been hoping to see attendance figures beginning to rise after the first week back, so the fact they have gone in the opposite direction should ring alarm bells.
“Clearly, the failure of Covid testing sits at the heart of this. The inability of staff and families to successfully get tested when they display symptoms means that schools are struggling with staffing, children are missing school, and ultimately that children’s education is being needlessly disrupted.”
Schools across Coventry re-opened in September with staggered starts, finishes, different lunch and break time arrangements, new hygiene routines and changes to timetable.
To see all the latest coronavirus guidelines and advice, visit coventry.gov.uk/coronavirus