ABOUT 100,000 pupils have FAILED to return to school full-time, according to a shocking new report.
That's despite classrooms reopening in March, as the full toll of the Covid pandemic on students has been revealed.
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The Daily Mail has dubbed them the "lost children of lockdown".
It cites a new report from a think-tank which explains that nearly 100,000 pupils have been affected by the lockdown-hit schools.
They have failed to return to education full-time despite their schools reopening, it adds.
Also, reported The Sunday Times, schools are in 'chaos' as Covid cases have surged 70 per cent in just a week.
The paper added that "tens of thousands of pupils are being sent home to isolate as Covid cases in the young soar to their highest level since January, amid warnings that more schools will have to close".
Coronavirus outbreaks in schools and colleges have risen dramatically from 96 to 148, "a rise of 54 per cent in the week to June 20", it said.
Plus, the most recent government dashboard shows a 70 per cent weekly increase among kids aged from five to nine getting infected with the virus.
About 214,000 pupils have been self-isolating at home, because of "potential contact" with an infected person – this is a jump of 71,900 from the previous week.
Kevin Courney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, warned that Covid cases could double three times before this term ends in July.
Steve Chalke, founder of the Oasis trust which runs academies in England, said that schools have become "incubation centres for the new Delta variant" from India.
He told the paper that some teens and teachers were being stricken with debilitating long-Covid.
Chalke added: "The impact on children in schools and on their teachers and parents is big.
"We have not closed any schools yet but we are on a knife edge."
The government reported in June that nine million pupils across the country returned to face-to-face education in March, after some lockdown rules were relaxed.
It added that: "In the weeks following the full re-opening of schools, Covid-19 outbreaks linked to school settings and cases among school age cohorts have remained low and broadly reflected what is happening in the wider community.
"We saw only a very small increase in cases among five to nine and 10 to 19-year-olds.
"Monitoring positivity rates, using multiple data sources, provided reassurance that this increase was minimal given the huge number of children returning to schools, and crucially did not signal an overall rise in Covid-19 infection in children."
In late May the Independent reported that Public Health England (PHE) was told to release data on the spread of the Indian variant in schools or face legal action.
PHE was accused of acting “unlawfully” by withholding vital information on the strain's spread in classrooms.
Advocacy group the Citizens, along with AWO, a data rights firm, claimed that PHE “surrendered its independent judgement” to Boris Johnson.
Clara Maguire, executive director of the Citizens, said: "It defies belief that Public Health England is refusing to publish this vital public health data on the spread of the so-called Indian variant in schools.
"[This is] despite scientists, teachers, parents and unions all saying that they need it to safeguard theirs and their children’s health.”
She added: "We believe that there is an immediate risk to life. The public needs this data now and we believe that PHE is acting unlawfully in withholding it.
“It is unbelievable that a matter of vital importance to our public health can be subject to political interference."
Twenty-five places on a Delta variant watchlist were revealed last week – as Covid cases spiked 20 per cent in a week.
The Delta mutation is now the dominant strain in the UK and has already delayed the first planned lockdown lift of June 21.
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