This week, the Department for Education (DfE) has published statistics on pupil absence in primary and secondary schools for the 2015 to 2016 academic year. The release provides national statistical data on the levels of authorised, unauthorised and overall absence in state-funded primary, secondary and special schools. It also includes information on absence in pupil referral units, and for pupils aged four.
The significant findings of the report include:
Overall absence rates have stayed the same as in 2014/15 at 4.6 per cent. In general, they have followed a longer term downward trend since 2006/07 when the overall absence rate was 6.5 per cent
The percentage of pupils that were “classified as persistent absentees” under the new absence measure has decreased from 11.0 per cent in 2014/15 to 10.5 in 2015/16
Illness continued to be the main cause for absence in 2015/16, accounting for 57.3 per cent of all absence.
Governing boards should monitor attendance, specifically asking how attendance in each year group compares with national averages, and what the trends are over time?