Covid staff absences twice as likely in state schools compared to private sector
School teachers working in the state sector are almost twice as likely to be absent with Covid-19, compared with their counterparts in independent schools.
Research by the Sutton Trust found that a 10 per cent reduction in staffing levels was reported in around 20 percent of state schools, whilst 12 per cent of independent schools reported similar shortfalls.
The report also found that amongst the most deprived state schools the issues was particularly evident where the rate rose to 29 per cent.
The poll of almost 7,000 teaching staff found that around 8 per cent of respondents had experienced classes being merged and teaching shared as a result of colleagues being off sick with Covid-19.
Commenting on the findings, Sir Peter Lampl, Founder and Chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: “While most children are now back at school, disruption is continuing with schools heavily impacted by Covid-related staff absences.
“We must do all we can to ensure that poorer pupils are not further disadvantaged as a result of this disruption.
“As more pupils move to remote learning again, all pupils must have the resources they need to learn from home.
“The most important thing for the Government to do is to strengthen existing education recovery and make sure sufficient funding is being provided to cover absent staff.”
The Sutton Trust is continuing its calls for Government funding to ensure that all pupils have access to laptops or tablets so that they have access to remote learning and are not put at a disadvantage because of a lack of funding.
Julie Robinson, Chief Executive of the Independent Schools Council (ISC), said: “The pandemic has impacted all schools and we absolutely support assistance for those hardest hit.
“We all want more funding for state schools and greater support for underperforming pupils, which is why we encourage the ongoing development of partnership working between schools.” Contact us for assistance.
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