KIDS are far less likely to catch coronavirus in the classroom than they are at home, a major new study has found.
Groundbreaking research by Belgium’s national health body found transmission rates at schools are vanishingly low.
It will provide a major boost to ministers in their battle against militant union chiefs to get all children back in full-time education.
The results will also help reassure parents it is safe for schools to reopen in a fortnight.
Experts at the Sciensano institute found just 0.8 per cent of pupils quarantined under contact tracing rules caught the virus.
Of the 4,472 kids up to the age of 18 put into self-isolation only 36 are said to have become infected at school.
Meanwhile 243 staff were quarantined and 11 came down with the illness, at a rate of 4.5 per cent.
Belgium’s state virologist Steven Van Gucht declared: “We can say that the percentage of secondary infections at school is very low.”
He added transmission rates at home are “much higher” with people typically passing on the virus to 10 to 20 percent of family members.
The EU’s medical agency has also published evidence from across Europe that reopening classrooms hasn’t led to a spike in cases.
Experts at the European Centre for Disease Control concluded “child-to-child transmission in schools is uncommon” and most kids catch the virus elsewhere.
They said: “Current evidence suggests that schools are no different from any other communal environment in terms of the risk of spreading the virus.”
The agency’s Dr Josep Jansa added: “It is important for children and for the normal functioning of society that schools open in good time.”
Belgian scientists are now looking at rolling out a new spit test across schools to detect super spreader students.
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