ONE in 12 pupils in Oxfordshire missed school due to Covid-19 ahead of the summer break, latest figures reveal.

Department for Education data shows 8.2 per cent of children were absent for reasons linked to coronavirus on July 15 – the day the Government body carried out its last snapshot survey.

About seven and a half per cent of children were self-isolating due to possible contact with a Covid-19 case, while the rest had a confirmed or suspected case, or were off due to Covid-related school closures.

There was a slight difference between primary and secondary schools, with 7.2 per cent of primary pupils missing school compared to 9.6 per cent of secondary students.

Figures are adjusted to exclude students from Years 11 to 13, who were not expected to attend.

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Liz Brighouse, Oxfordshire County Council’s deputy leader, and cabinet member for children, education and young people’s services, said the numbers reflected a rise in cases.

“It wasn’t just young people off school, everyone has been getting pinged and told to self-isolate,” she said.

“Bubbles become very difficult to manage – children are going from one classroom to the other at secondary schools so that’s why primaries coped better.

“Our attendances were quite high until recently, and then they went below the national average when we saw the rise in cases in Oxford.

“It’s been an amazing effort from our schools though, it’s been an incredible commitment to young people.

“Over the summer, we need to make sure we resolve the issue of whether 15 to 18-year-olds get vaccinated.”

Oxford Mail: Oxfordshire county councillor Liz Brighouse. Picture: Ed NixOxfordshire county councillor Liz Brighouse. Picture: Ed Nix

Teachers and school leaders were also impacted by Covid-related absences, with 4.4 per cent missing work across school stages.

Mrs Brighouse said it was important young people try to enjoy a normal summer as possible, in order to improve their mental health.

She said: “A lot of provisions are being made in the summer and the county council has put extra provisions in to help young people in the summer.

“Having the break and being able to do what they want to do is really important for young people and for their mental health.”

She did however warn that there will be ‘a lot of issues’ to be tackled when children return to schools in September, including for those taking exams for the first time in two years.

A record 1.13 million children in England were out of school for Covid-related reasons on July 15.