Covid costs pupils more than a month of school days over just two terms

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The impact of Covid on school enrollment has been revealed

Ministry of Education data showed that more than half of all possible school days were missed during two semesters in the region through March of this year. It comes as education chiefs have warned that schools are “not out of the woods yet”.

However, schools are doing “the best they can” to enroll pupils according to the head of the academy.

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Figures from the Department of Education, which cover the weeks after the January shutdown, show that a total of Shropshire school pupils were educated at home for a combined 1.7 million school days.

The incomprehensible figure covers nearly all of the county’s secondary and primary schools during the spring term – most students were educated at home from January to March 8.

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The figure shows the scale of the disruption that has affected the county’s youth.

Dr. Jill Etug, executive director of the Learning Community Trust, which runs a number of the district’s schools, said the entire profession is working to make sure pupils are not at a disadvantage by the time they are out of class.

“I think we feel like we’re doing our best as a profession to make up for the time you’re out of school, but it’s not a five minute job,” she said.

Dr. Etug said a number of targeted programs have been used, with others still in progress, to see where students may be left behind.

She said, “We have a special interest in young children and their social development, so we do a lot of work with that. We also got the new GCSE specifications and so we start mock tests so we can see how well they are doing and where exactly the gaps are and provide the appropriate intervention to support them.”

“We have to make sure that we do everything we can for our young people and mitigate what happened and make sure that when they leave our schools they are in the best condition possible,” she added.

Department of Education figures show pupils across the Shropshire Council region missed the equivalent of a million days of in-person education between January and the end of March due to coronavirus reasons – 54.6 per cent of all possible school days.

At Telford & Wrekin, students missed 785,736 days during the same period — 53.9 percent of the days they should have been in school.

About 252 million school days were missed nationally due to Covid-19 during the spring and fall semesters.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said the pandemic had caused massive disruption in England and warned that schools across the country were “not out of the woods yet”.

Jeff Barton, ASCL general secretary, said: “Covid has caused widespread educational disruption across the country, but the impact has not been uniform.

“Even when schools were fully open during the last school year, attendance varied widely depending on local conditions.

“Unfortunately, there is still a very high level of disruption going on in this term and we are not out of the woods yet.”

He said the government’s immediate priority should be to end the disorder by increasing vaccination for children aged 12 to 15 and encouraging home testing twice a week.

James Bowen, director of policy at the NAHT School Leaders Association, said: “This data serves as a useful reminder of how much the pandemic is affecting children and young people.

“Schools have worked hard to provide distance learning, but we know this is not a substitute for being in the classroom.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said the vaccination program and adherence to public health advice had put schools in a better position than last school year.

She added: “We continue to work with parents, school and college staff to maximize students’ time in the classroom, and our Long-Term Education Recovery Plan, backed by more than £3 billion to date, will provide global teacher training and offer millions of children access to high-quality private tutoring. “.

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