SOUTHAMPTON pupils missed almost one million school days this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, figures show.

Department for Education figures show pupils across Southampton missed the equivalent of 935,740 days of in-person education between January and the end of March for coronavirus related reasons.

This is a total of 55.8 per cent of all possible school days in spring.

In the autumn term, 103,632 days were missed, which means the city's youth were absent for one million school days over the two terms.

It equates to roughly 34 per pupil.

Education bosses in Southampton have said that the figures are "not exclusive to Southampton", adding that their focus is to support schools through the rest of the year to "minimise disruption".

The figures include state-funded primary, secondary and special schools in the area.

Children across England were sent home to self-isolate when coronavirus cases were detected in the autumn.

But for the majority of the spring term, students – except children of key workers and vulnerable pupils – were told to learn remotely amid the national lockdown.

Around 252 million school days were missed nationally because of Covid-19 over both terms – 29.4 per cent area.

Councillor James Baillie, cabinet member for education at Southampton City Council said: “The challenges faced are not exclusive to Southampton, children across the country have had a disrupted education experience as a result of the pandemic. Schools and children have been affected differently, with schools across our city employing a range of measures to support pupils.

"Schools have access to government funding to support children in catching up, with some, for example, establishing tutoring programmes to provide children with additional support and some setting up summer schools to ensure year six pupils have a smooth transition to secondary school.

“Our focus is to continue to support schools through the rest of the academic year to minimise disruption to our children’s education.

"A key element of this is keeping our children in school which is enabled through continued testing in line with national guidance, children having their vaccination if eligible, and to self-isolate when required to do so.”