Lambeth school pupils have some of the highest absence rates in the country because of Covid, as well as some of the lowest vaccination rates.
A local campaign to start to turn this around over half term, backed by the Department for Education (DfE), launches today (14 February).
Lambeth has one of the lowest vaccination rates in England with just 34.7% of 12–15-year-olds vaccinated with the first dose and 44.7% of 16–17-year-olds.
Covid remains highly infectious and continues to cause disruption to education with absence rates remaining high, DfE said. Latest available local figures show that on 16 December one in ten (11.1%) pupils were absent from Lambeth secondary schools due to the virus, compared to 3.2% nationally.
DfE says Covid is continuing to disrupt children’s and young people’s education and that there is a need to protect face-to-face teaching and summer exams by controlling it.
Latest figures show that about 4.1% of secondary school pupils are absent nationally, meaning more than 145,000 secondary pupils missing education on any given day due to Covid.
Despite plans to end all Covid regulations, the government continues to stress the importance of vaccinations.
It says that one of the best ways to bring Covid absence rates down is for young people to get vaccinated, reducing the likelihood of contracting the virus and helping to keep it out of the classroom – keeping education on track.
The department’s key messages in the campaign will be:
- Enjoying being back in school or college?
- Don’t let Covid get in the way of your education
- Get jabbed at half term
- Being fully jabbed will help you keep your education on track and protect yourself and others
To find the nearest place you can get a vaccination in Lambeth, search “get a covid jab”.
The latest estimate from the Zoe Project based at King’s College Hospital, shows Covid cases in Lambeth still increasing.