More than 95 per cent of children were back in school in Devon at the end of last week

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More than 95 per cent of children were back in school in Devon at the end of last week

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Primary schools fully re-opened on 8 March and at the end of the week they recorded a 97 per cent attendance rate.

Some secondary schools staggered their start in order to test all their students for coronavirus but, at the end of the week, 95 per cent of students were in.

And in Devon’s special schools, which opened for all pupils throughout the last lockdown, the attendance rate was 91 per cent last week.

Devon County Council’s Head of Education, Dawn Stabb, said: “The attendance rate of 95 per cent reflects that seen in a normal year.

“The return has been really positive across the whole of the county. We have had some great responses from pupils, parents, heads and teachers. Schools have done a tremendous job in building confidence and welcoming pupils back.”

She said in the first week of the return there had "only been positive reports about how well children were managing all the changes of the past year" and how good it was to see them enjoying lessons and meeting their friends again.

The county council’s deputy leader and Cabinet member for schools, James McInnes, said: “The return to school has been very smooth.”

Schools, early years and further education colleges had all done a "remarkable job over the past year", he said, along with the county council’s own staff who had been working "tremendously hard to support schools, children and families".

And he confirmed that a video message had gone to staff thanking them for their dedication and commitment.

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