The UK government has revealed figures showing that the number of absences in England’s schools has fallen sharply, with the Autumn Term 2013 recording the lowest figures in recent times. The figures, based on state-funded primary and secondary schools within England show the overall absence rate in the autumn term fell from 5.2% in 2012 to 4.3% in 2013.
The number of pupils who missed around 15% of school in the autumn term fell by 118,000 in one year. Missing 15% of school is the government’s definition of ‘persistent absence’ and is equivalent to missing 18 months of a whole school career.
The government has encouraged schools to tackle the problem of persistent absence earlier, reducing the threshold by which absence is defined as ‘persistent’ from around 20% to around 15% from October 2011. This means schools are held to a higher standard in performance tables than previously.
Click here to view: Levels of overall, authorised and unauthorised absence by school type, with indicative statistics on persistent absentees.