JUST one in 1,700 secondary school pupils tested positive for Covid when they returned to classes last week, figures showed last night.
All older children were tested twice in school before they went back for lessons as a first step in easing England’s lockdown.
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More than five million tests were carried out.
And only 2,800 of those came back positive — with those pupils sent straight home to isolate.
According to NHS Test and Trace statistics, more than 12.3 million checks have been done so far in schools — with teachers getting access to quick lateral-flow tests, too, to keep them safe.
Next week, pupils will begin doing the checks at home, where they will start to become a routine activity for them.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said last night he hoped testing for children would soon become a habit for families everywhere.
He said: “Rapid testing is vital in our fight against this pandemic.
“But it only works if we continue to play our part and get tested.”
And Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty paid tribute to teachers, parents and pupils for getting back to the classroom successfully.
But he warned: “We are expecting schools going back will put some upward pressure on R.
“The roadmap was planned with that possibility in mind.
“Ministers want this to be based on data not dates.”
He said the full impact of children going back would be revealed only in the coming weeks.
The PM, who visited Colham Manor Primary School, in his constituency of Uxbridge, West London, yesterday, said pupils in his area “were so glad to be back”.
More than seven million children were back in school last week — with attendance at 94 per cent for primary and 89 per cent for secondary.
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