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Absenteeism from secondary schools

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  • Release date: 10 September 2014
  • Period covered: 2004/05 to 2013/14
  • Next update: 26 August 2014
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, 6.4 per cent of half-day school sessions were missed due to overall absence and 1.3 per cent of half-day school sessions were missed due to unauthorised absence from maintained secondary, special and independent schools.
  • In general, overall absence has been falling since 2005/06. In 2013/14, overall absenteeism continued to fall, dropping by 1.0 percentage points since the previous year. Although unauthorised absenteeism did not change between 2012/13 and 2013/14, if you compare it with 2007/08, over six years it has decreased by 0.5 percentage points.
  • The percentage of pupils who had no absence from maintained secondary schools in 2013/14 reached its highest value since pupil-level absenteeism data were collected for the first time in 2007/08, 8.1 per cent.
  • The percentage of persistent absentees in maintained secondary schools has decreased every year since 2007/08. It is now half what it was six years ago, showing a drop of 5.0 percentage points from 10.0 per cent in 2007/08 to 5.0 per cent in 2013/14.
  • Nearly 60 per cent of absenteeism was due to illness.


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