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Absenteeism from primary schools

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  • Release date: 3 December 2014
  • Period covered: 2004/05 to 2013/14
  • Next update: 1 December 2015
An annual report showing data on authorised and unauthorised absenteeism by pupils of compulsory school age, including information on school type, gender, free school meal eligibility and length of absence.

Key points

  • In 2013/14 5.2 per cent of half day sessions were missed due to overall absence and 1.0 per cent of half-day sessions were missed through unauthorised absence.
  • In general, overall absence has been falling since 2005/06. In 2012/13 overall absenteeism rose slightly, but in 2013/14 it fell again, dropping by 1.1 percentage points since the previous year.
  • There were less than half as many persistent absentees in 2013/14 as there were in 2007/08 when the number could first be calculated.
  • There was an increase in the percentage of half-day sessions missed from maintained primary schools due to unauthorised family holidays. But overall, the percentage of half-day sessions missed due to all family holidays decreased in 2013/14.


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