School COVID figures give significant cause for concern & highlight need for continuing caution

Created on: 27 Aug 2021 | Last modified: 14 Jul 2022

The significant rise in COVID cases linked to Scottish schools, confirmed in new figures released by Public Health Scotland, is a significant cause for concern.

The spike in cases highlights the need for continuing caution and effective mitigations to limit COVID spread through school communities.

The latest figures, published today, indicate that 2 out of every 100 pupils nationally are currently absent from school for a Covid-related reason. Test positivity amongst the 2-17 age group has increased to 19.9% this week, compared to 18.5% the previous week. A total of 14,914 pupils were absent on 24 August on account of COVID.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, “Clearly these figures will be a cause for concern for school communities – parents, pupils, teachers and staff. They underline the need to remain on guard to ensure schools remain COVID conscious and that mitigations are maintained.”

Mr Flanagan added, “The EIS believes the change in contact tracing arrangements for schools is creating confusion for parents, pupils and staff. We wish to see all pupils identified as close contacts being required to get a clear PCR test before returning to class.

"This removes the 10 day self-isolation requirement but offers a quick reassurance to school communities and will reduce the risk of in-school transmission. We also support the Scottish Government position of wishing to see all Secondary pupils offered the possibility of vaccination, which will help minimise disruption to education.”

Further statistical info is available here:

COVID-19 Education Recovery Group: children and young people infographic - (

COVID19 - Schools and Childcare Information August 2021 | Tableau Public

Coronavirus (COVID-19): daily data for Scotland - (