The Department for Education (DfE) has released the latest data on pupil absence rates in England, covering the period between autumn 2016 to autumn 2017.
The key findings from the data release are:
overall absence rates are relatively stable, increasing by 0.1% between 2015/16 and 2016/17
the number of unauthorised absences has risen by 0.2%, partly “due to increased levels of unauthorised family holiday and other unauthorised absence”
the number of persistently absent children has risen by 0.1%
as in previous years, the most common reason for absence was illness (60.1% of all absences)
Those governing should be aware of the absence rates in their schools, and question how attendance in each year group compares with national averages, looking specifically at trends over time. . Any concerns, or worrying trends, should be raised with executive leaders at the appropriate governing board meetings. You can find out more about absence rates in schools by going to the DfE school performance tables.