921 Suffolk schoolchildren self-isolating - but numbers have fallen, figures show
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More than 900 schoolchildren in Suffolk are self-isolating during the coronavirus crisis - although the numbers have dropped slightly in recent weeks, new figures show.
Latest data from Suffolk County Council shows that, up to Friday, November 27, Suffolk had 70 cases of Covid-19 in schools - with 19 members of staff and 51 pupils affected.
As a result, there were 921 pupils isolating and 70 staff.
In the week to November 19, a total of 967 pupils and 49 members of staff in the county were made to self-isolate.
This followed 76 recorded cases of coronavirus among students and staff.
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The most notable drop between the two sets of data was the number of schools in which cases were reported.
In the week to November 27, 39 schools reported cases - down from 45 a week earlier.
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Dave Lee-Allan, chairman of the Suffolk Association of Secondary Headteachers and headmaster at Stowmarket High School, said he was delighted to hear that the numbers had dropped slightly.
He said the impact on schools of positive cases was “significant” and “challenging” and that any decrease in numbers was welcome.
Despite this, Mr Lee-Allan said there were still problems facing schools.
“The issues continue in terms of anxious staff and parents,” said Mr Lee-Allan.
“When members of staff have to isolate, the disruption to learning is significant.”
Mr Lee-Allan said that schools were also concerned about the amount of money needing to be spent on temporary staffing costs.
Graham White, Suffolk spokesman for the NEU, said he was also pleased with the news.
“Schools are doing their very best to keep pupils as safe as possible,” said Mr White.
“The NEU has been constant in its strong reservations about the ability of schools to be safe enough for all pupils and staff.
“We have consistently argued for blended learning - some pupils in school at any one time, whilst the rest work at home on work set by school.
“Pupils alternate time in school and time at home working.
“Teachers are professional and dedicated to doing the best for all pupils so will do whatever is necessary.
“We do worry about the impact this has on their family and themselves.”