More than 40 Calderdale schools send children home over coronavirus
Almost half of Calderdale’s schools had children forced to learn from home because of coronavirus this week.
As of the end of Monday, 43 of the borough’s 100 schools had been hit by the virus - 12 secondary schools and 31 primaries - along with two special schools and two nurseries.
There has been growing concern nationally about the number of children having to miss school. The Government is considering scrapping the current rules where groups of pupils have to self-isolate if one tests positive from September, and asking secondary schools to introduce daily testing instead.
The Halifax Academy Headteacher Matt Perry was unsure about the move, sharing concerns about the risk to staff and students it could pose.
“It doesn’t look as though children are going to be vaccinated before the summer, he said.
“They can still suffer symptoms. They can still suffer from long Covid.”
He said disadvantaged children have been worst hit by having to be away from their classrooms and called on the Government to make children and education a higher priority,
“It’s been very challenging and disruptive to education,” he said.
“You just get back into the flow and then another bubble pops.
“That disruption is very challenging for young children and the younger they are, the more challenging it is.
“Children have missed out on two years of childhood.
“It feels as though children are being treated as an afterthought.”
Ben Leaman, Consultant in Public Health at Calderdale Council said: “There are currently higher rates of COVID amongst young people in the borough, which unfortunately is having an impact on schools.
“At the end of Monday there were full or partial bubble closures affecting 31 primary schools, 12 secondary schools, two special schools and two nurseries.
"Although some schools have more than one bubble closure, it’s important to note that these cases are not necessarily linked, and only linked cases are classed as outbreaks.
“We continue to fully support schools and offer regular advice. Regular testing is continuing to take place in schools and we also encourage young people and their families to carry out lateral flow tests at home.
"Enhanced testing is also taking place in some secondary schools to quickly identify cases and prevent further transmission.”