Every fifth primary school pupil schools were physically at school on Monday, government data shows, and gave a glimpse of school numbers during England's lockdown.
This came after education unions raised concerns about the demand for on-site space after schools went online for all but vulnerable and important working children through at least mid-February due to the ongoing situation Coronavirus pandemic.
New Data According to the Ministry of Education (DfE), 14 percent of state students went to school on January 11th – exactly one week after Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown for England.
That number was 20 percent for elementary schools and 4 percent for secondary schools.
Meanwhile, special schools had just under 30 percent of the students on Monday, as the government data show.
On Wednesday, UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said schools were a "safe place" but the decision to put schools online in England was made to reduce movement across the community.
He told an education committee that the data showed that only 14 percent of children were in schools on Monday, which had an "overall immediate impact" on transmission.
Since schools were instructed on Monday to step up online learning, fears about the risks of spreading Covid-19 have been reported, according to reports that some schools are still welcoming around half – or even more – of their local students.
Susan Acland-Hood, permanent secretary of the DfE, said Monday, "We see that the proportion of schools with more than half of their children is around 2 percent."
The new DfE figures show that 11 percent of elementary schools that responded to their survey attended fewer than 10 percent of students.
Almost half had fewer than 20 percent visitors, while 98 percent of the primary schools that responded had fewer than 50 percent of the students.
Meanwhile, 91 percent of secondary schools that responded to the DfE survey said less than 10 percent of students were physically present on Monday.
In the survey by the NAHT school directors' union, 34 percent of school principals stated that more than a third of the children were still physically in school, while 12 percent stated that more than 40 percent of the students were in school.
Additional coverage by the Press Association