Covid: 9% of teachers consider keeping child off school

EXCLUSIVE: Teacher-parents more likely than non-teachers to consider keeping child off school in final week, poll shows

John Roberts

Covid: One in 10 teachers are considering keeping their own child off school in the final week of term before the summer holidays to avoid isolation, a poll of parents shows

Almost one in 10 teacher-parents would consider removing their child from school before the end of term to avoid them either catching Covid or needing to isolate at the start of the summer holidays, according to an online poll.

The survey app Parent Ping asked at the end of last week if people would consider taking their child out of school to avoid this.

A breakdown of replies from parents who are teachers shows that 3 per cent answered "definitely" and another 6 per cent said "maybe".

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Some 13 per cent said "probably not" and 76 per cent said "definitely not".

There have been concerns that school attendance could drop  further this week as parents withdraw their children to avoid them having to isolate in the summer holidays amid escalating Covid disruption.

The Parent Ping data was based on responses from 500 parent teachers, answering on behalf of 912 children. The answers show that parents who are teachers were slightly more likely to be considering removing their child from school than parents in general.

The overall responses from 1,466 parents – answering on behalf of 2,647 children and who were asked the question on Friday last week – shows that 2 per cent answered "definitely" and another 4 per cent answered "maybe".

Covid: Would parents take their child out of school to avoid Covid isolation?

Parent Ping has asked people if they are considering removing their child in the final week of term to avoid them catching Covid or needing to self isolate.

Covid: Would teachers take their child out of school to avoid Covid isolation?

Almost one in ten teachers would consider pulling their child out of school early this week to avoid catching Covid or needing to self isolate.

The data also shows that the proportion of parents considering removing their children has increased over recent weeks, as Covid cases have soared.

When Parent Ping asked the same question of parents on 5 July, just 1 per cent answered "definitely" and another 4 per cent said "maybe".

The question asked was: “Would you consider taking your child out of school before the end of term to ensure they don’t have Covid or need to self-isolate in the holidays?"

The new figures come after headteachers warned that some parents could choose to keep their children off amid rising Covid cases in schools.

The most recent figures show that 820,000 pupils were off because of Covid-related reasons, with almost three-quarters of a million self-isolating because of contact with a Covid case.

However, the risk of being identified as a close contact in the final week of term could, in fact, drop sharply.

This is because schools have been told they no longer have responsibility to identify contacts as that responsibility is being transferred to NHS Test and Trace.

In guidance sent to schools last week, the government said it expected “a very small number of close contacts” to be identified, on average, for each Covid case.

This is in contrast with the approach schools have been taking so far, based on Department for Education guidance, which resulted in entire bubbles being asked to isolate in the event of one Covid case.

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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