Secondary school attendance stood at over 99 per cent

“Unprecedented” figures have been released which give secondary school pupils top marks for attendance – despite extended periods of home learning due to Covid restrictions.

Members of the council’s education and families committee have learned attendance in Shetland’s high school departments stood at over 99 per cent between January and March.

The figure puts Shetland well above the national average.

A programme of home learning was adopted after the Christmas holidays following an increase in Covid cases at the time.

However, a phased return to classrooms began in February. And the figures show pupils have been keen to get back to their lessons.

The latest statistics were highlighted by the committee’s Lerwick South representative Peter Campbell.

“In quarter four we have an unprecedented level of 99.4 per cent for secondary pupils in attendance,” he said.

Director of children’s services Helen Budge said the measures taken to curb coronavirus meant schools had not seen the usual spread of colds and other infections, which had helped keep absences down.

Chairman George Smith said he had been “pleasantly surprised” by attendance figures over the last year.

Mr Campbell said it was the first time he had seen secondary attendance at a level higher than primary.

Mrs Budge added pupils were glad to see their friends and resume in-class learning.

But later in the meeting, Shetland Central councillor Davie Sandison said pupils had only returned to the classroom for a very short time before the Easter holidays began.

“For all but two weeks of this period there were no secondary pupils in school at all,” he said.


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