More than 200 pupils have tested positive for Covid-19 since start of the new term

A total of 223 East Riding school pupils have tested positive for coronavirus since the autumn term began while home education has reached its highest recorded levels, councillors have heard.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 9:58 am
Updated Friday, 17th September 2021, 10:00 am
Council schools lead Deborah Myers told the sub committee 67 schools had reported positive cases after all reopened as planned for the autumn term.

A total of 223 East Riding school pupils have tested positive for coronavirus since the autumn term began while home education has reached its highest recorded levels, councillors have heard.

East Riding Council’s Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee heard 31 staff had also tested positive for coronavirus since the start of term.

Council schools lead Deborah Myers told the committee 67 schools had reported positive cases after all reopened as planned for the autumn term.

The officer added 614 pupils were home schooled during the 2020 to 2021 academic year, the highest number to date, with 210 since returning to classrooms or leaving education.

Ms Myers said concerns around the easing of coronavirus measures including schools bubbles could affect home education numbers going forward. 

It comes as councillors also heard schools were no longer required to be part of national coronavirus track and trace efforts but still had to report cases to the council.

Ms Myers told the committee the council was also preparing to help schools with the upcoming vaccine roll out to 12 to 15 year olds, set to begin next week.

She added the council’s schools approach was now more about helping them “learn to live” with coronavirus.

Ms Myers said council officers were monitoring the coronavirus situation in schools “hour by hour and day by day”.

The schools lead said: “Coronavirus is still a reportable infection, schools still have to report cases to the local authority as they would with any communicable disease.

“The lifting of restrictions has also meant Ofsted inspections have resumed and will include schools previously judged outstanding.

“There’s currently 15 outstanding schools in the East Riding and 10 that haven’t been inspected for five years.

Schools are really keen to return to business as usual and get back to their pre-pandemic regimes.

“We’re no longer recording self-isolations but children who are confirmed as coronavirus positive.

“The majority of coronavirus contacts are community ones because schools only started again at the tail end of last week.

“We understand the removal of control measures including face coverings and bubbles may lead to some concerns about children returning to school.

“When we have cases going up in a school our outbreak management team meets to explore issues around it. 

“We continue to work with public health colleagues to keep schools abreast of the situation.”

Article by Joe Gerrard (Local Democracy Reporting Service)