Covid cases among secondary school age students rose to a new high last week, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.
The data reveals that infection rates remain highest among secondary school pupils and young adults, and that secondary school students were the only age group where Covid positive cases increased in the week to Saturday 21 November.
The infection rate for secondary school pupils increased to its highest point so far at 2.28 per cent on 16 and 17 November but has begun to fall, the survey reveals.
Background: Covid cases drop after half-term break
ONS data also shows Covid rates dropping in most age groups, including children from two years old to those in Year 6 at primary school.
The survey showed that the age group of Years 7-11 was the only one that saw the coronavirus infection rate increase in the week to Saturday 21 November.
However, graphs indicate that, in this age group, the rate was beginning to drop towards the end of the week.
The latest figures follow DfE data that showed three in four secondary schools have pupils off isolating after potential contact with a confirmed case of Covid in their school.
The department estimates that 876,000 pupils were off last week because of Covid-related reasons.
The ONS survey says: "Over the last week, increases in the positivity rate can only be seen in secondary school-age children and positivity rates have decreased in adults aged 35 and over, while it appears that rates among the youngest age group as well as those aged school Year 12 to age 24 years and 25-34 years are levelling off; rates remain highest among secondary school-age children and young adults."