Parents told: keep sending children to school - despite holiday fears

Covid-related pupil absence in England has hit a new record high.

Covid-related pupil absence in England has hit a new record high. - Credit: PA

Parents should send their children to school for the last days of the summer term despite the risk that isolation could interfere with family holidays, a headteachers' union has said.

Former Bury St Edmunds headteacher Geoff Barton, now general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said schools had concerns families could withdraw their children to avoid them having to potentially self-isolate.

Former Suffolk headteacher Geoff Barton, now general secretary at the Association of School and Coll

Former Suffolk headteacher Geoff Barton, now general secretary at the Association of School and College Leader Picture: DANNY HEWITT - Credit: DANNY HEWITT

He said: "We are not casting blame on parents because we understand the importance of holidays after such a torrid year, but we would encourage attendance where children are not ill or self-isolating."

Latest Government figures suggest that Covid-related pupil absence in England hit a new record high since all students fully returned in March with more than 830,000 children out of school last week.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "Pupils should be in school during term-time and should only be self-isolating if they are required to. Schools should work with parents and carers where they have concerns about attendance."


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