COVID – What’s really happening in schools

Throughout the pandemic, the DfE has been collecting data on COVID infections in schools and sharing this with local authorities. This data is reported directly by schools via the Department for Education’s daily education settings survey. It is not the primary source of data on infection, incidence, and COVID-19 cases overall but it continues to provide a useful insight into what’s happening in school settings. Since last year we’ve been working with the London Borough of Newham to analyse & present this data, deriving useful insights that in turn drive local decision making and policy.

Last month (June 2021) the DfE began publishing some of this data in the public domain on a weekly basis.

The dataset isn’t as complete as that shared with LAs. The public LA level data is currently only available for the period 10/09/20-27/05/21 and so can’t be used to look at regional variations associated with the latest spike in cases. The public totals for England are more current and are typically published up to the previous week. However, despite its limitations, this data still provides interesting insight into the impact of the COVID pandemic for schools so we’ve taken this raw data and presented it in an interactive dashboard that helps to illustrate the scale of COVID absences in schools across the country. The ‘LALevelData-TotalsDated-England’ tab illustrates regional variations on a given date by a selected group of schools and type of pupil absence. A table displays the absence totals on the selected date by worst affected LA. The ‘LALevelData-TotalsDated-London’ tab is the same report but focused on London LAs. The ‘LALevelData-TotalsOverTime’ tab displays how the selected absence type has varied over time, since school attendance became mandatory in March, for the selected group of schools in the selected LAs. Finally, the ‘NationalLevelData-TotalsOverTime’ is based on the latest national figures, typically published up to the previous week, showing that COVID related pupil absences have continued to rise significantly beyond the cutoff date for the published LA level data.

If you are interested in producing data analytics and custom dashboards for your school or trust, please get in touch to find out how The Education Space can help.