By Luke Andrews Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 17:03 BST, 4 May 2021 | Updated: 17:03 BST, 4 May 2021
Teaching unions today demanded secondary school children must keep wearing face masks in the classroom until the end of term.
England is set to dump the troublesome rule from the next lockdown easing in less than two weeks, amid concerns over how it affects pupils education.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
But the National Education Union (NEU) among others has now insisted in an open letter that the order should be extended until June 21.
They claim lifting the measure too soon will have 'consequences' for the health of pupils and their parents.
It comes after official figures suggested almost nine in ten secondary schools suffered no Covid outbreaks just a week after they reopened.
Trade unions had protested that year groups should return in stages, claiming that bringing them back all at once could make an outbreak more likely.
But twice weekly swabbing showed there was only a small rise in cases, which experts said was to be expected because people were mixing more.
Almost nine in 10 secondary schools in England had no coronavirus cases after they reopened, official figures suggest.
Surveillance data showed only nine of 80 schools surveyed had spotted one infected pupil or staff member in the fortnight ending March 31. Four saw at least two cases, according to the Office for National Statistics report.
Almost 10,000 secondary teachers and pupils were swabbed for the study, which is carried out regularly to track the spread of the disease in schools.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Just 0.34 per cent of pupils tested positive — compared to 1.2 per cent in December, when Covid was spreading rapidly in the community. Only one in every 500 teachers were infected in the last round of testing, down from one in 60 before Christmas.
Public Health England bosses said the data was 'reassuring'.
It comes after teaching unions warned Number 10's 'big bang' reopening of