'This is just relentless' says headteacher as one in 20 pupils self isolate due to Covid

Video report from Amy Welch

It is a situation one headteacher from the North West describes as ''relentless'' - the massive disruption many schools are facing due to pupils having to self isolate under Covid-19 rules.

In a video message to parents, Glyn Potts, head of Newman RC College in Oldham, shared his frustration over the current situation.

He told ITV News we are talking about the next generation and the pandemic has had a huge impact on their lives and a plan is needed now, not September.

Covid-related absence in English schools has reached the highest level since pupils returned to their desks in March amid indications from the government the bubble and self-isolation rules could come to an end at the start of the next academic year.

New figures show 375,000 children missed school last week, up 100,000. Ministers want to replace Covid bubbles and isolation with testing.

Large number of schools have had to send home bubbles or even entire year groups because of children either falling ill or coming into contact with someone who's tested positive.

  • In Liverpool, more than 5 thousand pupils and 300 staff were self isolating.

  • In Manchester, almost 6,000 thousand pupils were self isolating.

  • In Oldham, 69 out of 105 schools had been hit by Covid disruption

  • In Bury, more than 2 thousand pupils were self isolating

Children's Commission for England Dame Rachel de Souza said there was an urgent need for children to get back to normal as lockdown restrictions had been a “real trauma” for many young people.

The Department for Education said ministers have written to secondary schools asking them to prepare to potentially replace isolation rules with testing.

They said more information about their plans for September would be released in "due course".