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Teaching unions sound alarm on Delta variant Covid in schools

TEACHING unions have called on the government to take action to reduce Covid-19 transmission in schools after a rise in Delta (or Indian) variant outbreaks.

According to Public Health England, there have been 97 confirmed outbreaks in schools,with at least one variant case linked to them over the most recent four weeks – equivalent to one school in 250.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said the development raised serious questions about the government’s decision to scrap some mitigation measures in schools last month.

“We have been hearing from our members that more and more schools are having to close multiple classes or ‘bubbles,’ particularly in areas with higher case numbers,” he added.

Association of School and College Leaders general secretary Geoff Barton said: “The situation clearly continues to be precarious and will need to be monitored very carefully after the half-term holiday.

“It is essential that data is more readily available in the future.”

A government spokeswoman said: “Attendance in schools remains high and the data shows the steps we are taking to keep the Delta variant under control in schools are working.”

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