In June 2021 (Round 6), 0.27% of primary school pupils (95% confidence intervals: 0.05% to 0.84%), 0.42% of secondary school pupils (95% confidence intervals: 0.23% to 0.70%) and 0.27% of secondary school staff (95% confidence intervals: 0.07% to 0.71%) in school on the day of testing, tested positive for current infection for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Prevalence of infection among pupils sampled in school was consistently lower than prevalence of infection among children in the wider community across all time periods; these findings support the hypothesis that over the school year "school gate" measures have reduced the risk of infection in school and the rapid asymptomatic testing programme may have enhanced this by keeping a higher proportion of infected pupils out of school in the summer term.
The central estimates seen for seroconversion between Rounds 5 and 6 are the lowest seen at any point in the academic year; for primary school staff the seroconversion rate between Rounds 5 and 6 was 0.8 per 1,000 person-weeks, for secondary school staff, the seroconversion rate was 1.9 per 1,000 person-weeks.
In June 2021, 25.16% of primary school staff (95% confidence intervals: 19.73% to 31.22%) and 23.36% of secondary school staff (95% confidence intervals: 20.66% to 26.22%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies; this difference is not statistically significant.
By the end of June 2021, 92.93% of staff had received at least one dose and 70.47% had received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccination.
40% of primary school parents and 54% of secondary school parents would definitely want their child to have a COVID-19 vaccine if offered; only 3% of primary school parents and 6% of secondary school parents would definitely not want their child to have a COVID-19 vaccine, there has been no significant change in opinion since the previous questionnaire reported at Round 5.
Have you been asked to take part in the study?
For more information, please visit the SIS participant guidance page.
If you have any further questions on the COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey (SIS), you can telephone IQVIA helpline on 0800 917 9679 or email email@example.com.
Staff vaccination data were obtained by linking to the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS). Details of the data matching can be found in our methodology article. Of the staff participating where immunisation status was available, 92.93% had received at least one vaccination dose by the end of June 2021 (95% confidence intervals: 91.13% to 94.45%), an increase from 86.60% at the end of May 2021, and from 62.94% at the end of March 2021. Of these members of staff, 70.47% had received both doses (95% confidence intervals: 67.50% to 73.32%), an increase from 43.13% at the end of May 2021, and up from 1.01% at the end of March 2021.
Vaccination data by age and local authority results can be found in the accompanying dataset.
As our vaccination rates relate to school staff in 14 local authorities and cannot be generalised to all school staff in England, the data in this bulletin will differ from the administrative data on vaccinations published weekly by NHS England. The administrative data cover all vaccinations given to individuals who have an NHS number and are currently alive in the resident population.Back to table of contents
Between 21 May and 22 June 2021, parents were asked to complete a short questionnaire about their views towards their children receiving a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination. Analysis was carried out on 1,728 responses received from parents with children under the age of 16 years (a response rate of 11%) and has been weighted to be representative of all children under 16 years in the COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey (SIS) local authorities (as SIS oversamples local authorities in the North West of England these findings are not necessarily generalisable to England as a whole).
In response to the question "If a COVID-19 vaccine was offered to your child, would you want them to have the vaccine?", 40% of primary school parents and 54% of secondary school parents responded that they "Yes, definitely" would want their child to have a COVID-19 vaccine. Some 3% of primary school parents and 6% of secondary school parents said they would "Definitely not" want their child to have a vaccine, as seen in Figure 7. There has been no significant change in opinion since the previous questionnaire reported in Round 5.
More about coronavirus
COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey
Dataset | Released 11 August 2021
Estimates from Round 6 of the COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey.
The COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey analysis was produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in collaboration with our research partners at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Public Health England.Back to table of contents
A confidence interval gives an indication of the degree of uncertainty of an estimate, showing the precision of a sample estimate. The 95% confidence intervals are calculated so that if we repeated the study many times, 95% of the time the true unknown value would lie between the lower and upper confidence limits. A wider interval indicates more uncertainty in the estimate. Overlapping confidence intervals indicate that there may not be a true difference between two estimates. For more information, see our methodology page on statistical uncertainty.
A result is said to be statistically significant if it is likely not caused by chance or the variable nature of the samples. For more information, see our methodology page on statistical uncertainty.
In the case of the coronavirus (COVID-19), antibody seroconversion is the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results changing from negative to positive and will capture both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections that may have been missed between testing rounds. To account for the different follow-up times between testing rounds in the COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey (SIS) a seroconversion rate has been calculated and expressed per 1,000 person-weeks, to allow for meaningful comparisons.
A seroconversion rate of 1.4 per 1,000 person-weeks suggests that, out of 10,000 people on average 14 changed from negative (no antibodies) to positive (antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 detected by the test) each week between the testing rounds. More details on this methodology are available. Note that after the infection, it takes some time before the antibody levels can be detected by the test. Therefore, people who have been recently infected may not yet have a detectable antibody level.
Data presented in this bulletin are from Round 6 (with comparisons with Round 1, Round 2, Round 4 and Round 5) of the COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey (SIS). These findings are for current coronavirus (COVID-19) infection for pupils and staff, and SARS-CoV-2 antibodies for staff only.
Estimates have been weighted and are representative of the ethnicity, gender, and age for all pupils in the sampled local authorities.
Our methodology article provides further information about response rates, survey design, how we process data and how data are analysed.
The results presented in this bulletin are from virus swab and antibody tests conducted in schools in England between 14 June and 6 July 2021 – referred to as Round 6. Testing for current infection in SIS is carried out using nasal swab (PCR) tests. This study is independent to the rapid asymptomatic testing introduced in schools using lateral flow devices (LFD).
Results have also been presented from tests conducted in schools in England between 3 and 20 November 2020 – referred to as Round 1, between 30 November and 11 December 2020 – referred to as Round 2, between 15 and 31 March 2021 referred to as Round 4, and between 5 and 21 May 2021 – referred to as Round 5.
Round 3 was due to take place in late January 2021. Testing within schools for this round was cancelled because of restricted attendance in schools during the national lockdown.
In Round 6, 141 schools took part in testing (57 primary and 84 secondary).
In Round 6 of testing, 3,819 staff participated in at least one current COVID-19 infection or SARS-CoV-2 antibody test. This is around 30% of eligible staff in the sampled schools.
Before the beginning of Round 4, participation was offered to all year groups in secondary schools (excluding Year 11) to improve the sample size. Some 63 out of the 84 secondary schools that took part in Round 6 testing had extended participation to other year groups.
In Round 6 of testing, 12,485 pupils (4,243 primary and 8,242 secondary) took part in at least one current COVID-19 infection or COVID-19 antibody test. The estimated response rate for secondary school pupils, in the year groups that participation was offered to, was 17%. The estimated response rate for primary school pupils was 24%. Details of previous rounds response rates can be found in the accompanying dataset.
More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in our methodology article.
Data cleaning and quality assurance is being carried out on data collected as part of the study on an ongoing basis. All estimates presented in this bulletin are provisional results. Estimates may therefore be revised in future publications.Back to table of contents
Contact details for this Statistical bulletin
Telephone: +44 (0)208 0390326