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More children in school in Devon

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The number of children attending schools across Devon has risen again.

Two weeks ago, 90.4 per cent of pupils were in school in the county.

The latest figures show that has gone up to 93 per cent. That compares to 90 per cent nationally.

Devon County Council’s Head of Education, Dawn Stabb, said the figures were changing all the time as pupils and staff tested positive for coronavirus and year groups and bubbles had to self-isolate whilst others returned to school after completing periods of self-isolation.

She said 87 per cent of children with special educational needs were in school compared to a national average of 84 per cent.

The numbers were always lower because the children often had complex medical conditions

Devon County Council deputy leader and Cabinet member for schools, James McInnes, said the rates of coronavirus remained low apart from the outbreak at Exeter University.

Photo of Councillor James McInnesHe said: “Teachers and school staff have been really enthusiastic about getting children back into education and a considerable amount of work has been done to make schools COVID-secure.

“I am delighted we have so many children back in school. The figures compare to an attendance rate of around 95 per cent in normal times.

“But they will fluctuate as we see other cases. We have to face the reality that coronavirus will be with us for some time and I would urge everybody to continue to abide by the guidance because that’s what’s kept our figures low up to now.”