95% of primary schools pupils back in the classroom this week

Some 95% of primary pupils are attending Lincolnshire schools this week, compared to a quarter last month due to schools and colleges in England being closed except for children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.

School stock image. Picture: Lincolnshire County Council.

Around a third of secondary pupils have returned this week compared to 5% in February, with the other two thirds adopting a phased return to the classroom so they can be tested in a “managed way”. This is expected to increase over the next few days.

This comes as lockdown restrictions loosened for school children on March 8, allowing them to return provided secondary school children take three rapid lateral flow tests for COVID-19 and continue to be tested from home twice a week.

Parents and staff in primary schools, plus all at secondary schools, have been asked to wear face coverings in class or on school premises with all staff also being tested for coronavirus twice weekly.

Martin Smith, assistant director for education at Lincolnshire County Council said: “Based on data from Monday, early estimates suggest around 95% of primary pupils are now back in school.

“In contrast, many secondary schools have adopted a phased return so pupils can be tested in a managed way.

“We estimate around a third of secondary pupils have already returned and expect to see this increase over the next few days.”

He added: “Between March 5-10, 9,031 lateral flow tests were carried out in schools, of which only 10 were positive. All schools continue to use appropriate safety measures to reduce the potential spread of the virus.”

November’s lockdown saw over 90% of children attending in Lincolnshire as schools were allowed to be open for all pupils, not just for vulnerable and essential workers’ children.

At the end of June 2020, when schools reopened after the first lockdown, almost all primary schools were open to reception, year 1 and year 6, but only around 35-40% of eligible pupils were attending.