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Self-isolating Schoolchildren: Numbers

Volume 684: debated on Monday 23 November 2020

What estimate he has made of the number of schoolchildren required to self-isolate at home on 23 November 2020 as a result of being in contact with another pupil having received a positive covid-19 test result. (909067)

The latest published data shows that, as of 12 November, 0.2% of pupils in state-funded schools were absent due to a confirmed covid case, and between 5.8% and 6.7% were self-isolating due to contact either in or outside school. Statistics are published weekly, and the data for the week of 23 November will be published on 1 December.

First, will my right hon. Friend join me in congratulating Herne Church of England Junior School on achieving an extraordinarily high placing in The Sunday Times listings? There are schools in North Thanet with whole classes isolating, including year 1 and year 2 children. Those are the children scheduled to undergo phonic screening, and others are facing SATs. Further to the question put to the Minister of State by my hon. Friend the Member for Sittingbourne and Sheppey (Gordon Henderson), will the Secretary of State look carefully and again consider the possibility of allowing teacher assessments to take the place of SATs, for this year only?

I join my right hon. Friend in congratulating Herne Church of England Junior School on its exceptional ranking, which is obviously down to the commitment and dedication of the teaching and support staff, as well, of course, as the pupils and parents, who do so much to support the school. He raises an important point about SATs and assessment. This is a useful internal tool for schools, enabling teachers to have a good grasp and clear understanding of where those children are, especially after so much disruption this year. We will be working closely with the sector to ensure that anything we do in this field is very much to support them and the children, and to support the learning and understanding of what support those children need going forward and not add extra pressures to them.