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Massive rise in Covid rate among schoolchildren underlines teaching union's fears

THE Covid-19 infection rate among secondary school-age children increased massively over the autumn term, according to data released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS estimates put the infection rate among Years 7 to 11 on January 2 at 2,950 per 100,000 — a huge 74 times the rate of 40 on September 1, and the biggest increase in any age bracket.

National Education Union (NEU) joint general secretary Dr Mary Bousted said that the results showed that the union was right to stand up for safety in schools, “a massive public health issue on which this government has been consistently behind the curve.”

“The government can’t seem to decide whether schools are safe or unsafe. Let this data end their confusion,” she said.

“Schools are clearly driving infection among children, and then on to the wider community.

“This peaked on Christmas Day, with one in every 27 secondary-age children and one in 40 primary-age children infected.

“This is truly shocking and entirely the result of government negligence.”

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