A new website has been launched today showing the latest Covid-19 infection rate around every school in England.
The NEU teaching union has said it hopes the website will help to support public health messages about the virus and reassure people in areas where transmission rates are low.
People can also use the coronavirus map for schools site to contact MPs to call for more testing in schools.
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The website, which will be updated weekly, will show the number of Covid cases in a school’s surrounding area, whether this figure is up or down from the previous week, whether or not the school is on a watchlist, and links to any local restrictions in place.
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Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the union, said: “The NEU School Covid Map presents up-to-date information on the Covid rate in every part of England.
“This website will support public health messaging everywhere. We believe it has the clearest information. We hope that it will encourage ongoing conversations about school safety, and how everyone can play their part.
“But this website will also encourage parents to support our asks of the government that they help to support safety in our schools and colleges.
“We have written to the prime minister calling for much quicker testing for staff and students, 'Nightingale' sites for smaller classes, guaranteed home working for vulnerable staff, and more funding for already strained schools and colleges to maintain Covid-security.
“Parents, students and staff also need urgent answers on next year’s exams, and how fit-for-purpose they will be. This is in light of not only the past summer’s fiasco, but also the disruption of local lockdowns in the months ahead.”
In a statement today, the union said: “In much of the country the map will offer reassurance that case numbers are quite low.
"In others, it will reinforce public health messaging from local authorities and government that cases are higher. In all situations it will encourage members of the public to follow all public health guidance.
“Where cases are higher, it will support head teachers in encouraging parents and other visitors to school sites to maintain social distancing and hygiene.
“In recent weeks, the government has increased the amount of data available about local Covid-19 cases. This is welcome and useful to all public health efforts. The NEU website will make the data easily available to parents and school staff.”