THE number of pupils off school for coronavirus-related reasons has soared in Glasgow.
Nearly 5000 youngsters had an absence linked to Covid-19 in the most recent figures – the highest since the Scottish Government started tracking daily levels in August.
Glasgow’s schools have also been hit by increasing numbers of staff forced to isolate, either as a direct result of having the virus or being identified as a close contact.
The total number of workers missing as of November 10 was 337, 191 of which were teachers.
The statistics have been deemed “very concerning” by councillors in the city with calls for all youngsters to be supported in their education.
Shettleston man Thomas Kerr said: “We know that absence from school had a devastating effect on kids during the spring and summer period, especially those from deprived backgrounds.
“I know that schools are doing all they can to keep staff and pupils safe from this virus.
“If this pandemic results in poorer children, from the East End of Glasgow and throughout the city, falling further behind that would be an unforgivable legacy and the Scottish Government must act now to prevent that.”
In October, the peak number of pupils missing school in any one week was 3479. For staff, the total reached 156.
This rose to 4265 children in the first week of November and 337 employees during the same time period.
Some of the worst impacted postcodes in the city’s latest figures include G53 and G31.
Those hit by lower numbers of absences include G71 and G64. There is no official breakdown per school.
Anas Sarwar, Labour MSP for Glasgow, said: “The health and wellbeing of teachers and pupils in Glasgow is vitally important.
“We need to see a rapid expansion of testing in schools, and the Scottish Government must start listening to teachers so that strike action can be avoided.”