Tuesday 20 July 2021 2:14 pm

Over 1 million children out of school last week due to 'pingdemic'

More than 1 million state school children were off school last week because of coronavirus-related reasons, government figures revealed.

The estimated number of 1.05 million school students not in class on 15 July, is a record high since all children returned to school in March, and up 11.2 per cent on figures from just one week prior.

The news amid increasing reports about the impact of the ‘pingdemic’ in the UK, forcing millions to self-isolate upon receiving a ‘ping’ notification from the NHS Covid-19 test and trace app.

The figures released by the Department for Education showed that 14.3 per cent of state school pupils did not attend school for covid-related reasons, equivalent to around one in every seven students.

Of these, 773,700 school children were self-isolating due to possible contact with a case of coronavirus from inside school, while 160,300 pupils after possibly coming into contact with a covid case outside school.

Meanwhile 47,200 pupils had a confirmed case of coronavirus, 34,800 pupils were absent as a result of school closures due to Covid-19 related reasons and 34,500 students had a suspected case of coronavirus.

Although it has never been a legal requirement to obey the app’s instructions, the official guidance has been that people should “self-isolate immediately” when told to.

The latest figures come after Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that the use of “bubbles” in schools and colleges in England will come to an end as the country eases lockdown restrictions.