Covid map offers schools local infection rate data

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Up-to-date: The NEU website offers schools the latest data on infection rates in their locality, such as this example from Newcastle – one of Public Health England's areas of intervention

A Covid map for schools has been launched allowing headteachers to see at a glance what the infection rate is in their area, the local trend & the latest local restrictions or lockdown information.

The website compiles official government data and is updated weekly offering information about the Covid-19 situation in the locality of every school in England.

It has been launched by the National Education Union (NEU).

The NEU website shows the number of Covid-19 cases in a school’s surrounding area, the trend since last week (an increase or decrease in case numbers), whether or not the school is on a watchlist, and links to any local restrictions in place.

The website launch comes as NEU members prepare to debate a motion on Saturday (October 3) calling for more detailed contingency plans for potential local lockdowns, including clarity about the infection rate thresholds at which school closures could or should be triggered. For more on the NEU motion and proposed infection rate thresholds, see our report here.

The website's data analysis shows that there are currently 5,836 schools in the Public Health England “areas of intervention”, where local restrictions have been introduced. As of September 25, there are 48 local authorities in this category (PHE, 2020).

The areas listed as areas of concern or intervention by the PHE have a wide range of infection rates, from 196.6 per 100,000 in Bolton and 24.3 in Lancaster (both areas of intervention) to 49.9 in Hertsmere and 13.7 in Sutton, both areas of concern.

The NEU data shows that there are more than 7,000 schools in areas where the infection rate is currently more than 45 per 100,000 people.

However, more reassuringly, there are around 7,300 schools in areas where the rate is at 15 or less – and more than 15,000 schools are in areas currently not on the PHE’s watchlist.

The NEU says the website helps to reinforce public safety messages in areas with rising infection rates. It also offers users the chance to support the NEU’s campaigning work over Covid-19 by emailing their local MP.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: “This website will support public health messaging everywhere. We believe it has the clearest information. We hope that it will encourage on-going conversations about school safety, and how everyone can play their part.

“But this website will also encourage parents to support our asks of the government that they help to support safety in our schools and colleges.

“We have written to the prime minister calling for much quicker testing for staff and students, Nightingale sites for smaller classes, guaranteed home working for vulnerable staff, and more funding for already strained schools and colleges to maintain Covid-security.

“Parents, students and staff also need urgent answers on next year’s exams, and how fit for purpose they will be. This is in light of not only the past summer’s fiasco, but also the disruption of local lockdowns in the months ahead.”


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