School absentees down by nearly 200,000


Fewer pupils are persistently missing school with the number of pupils almost halved since 2010, according to new figures.

The fall in young people missing classes has come after teachers were given new powers to tackle absenteeism, as part of the government’s plan for education.

Figures show the number of pupils regularly missing school in 2013 to 2014, classed as persistent absentees, is down nearly 200,000 over the last 5 years, falling by 46% over the period.

The figures also reveal:

  • the number of school days missed due to absence has fallen by a quarter since 2009 to 2010 when 57.0 million days were lost
  • the number of days missed due to family holidays fell by 1.4 million last year - and has dropped by 2.3 million days since 2009 to 2010
  • pupils missed an average of 7.9 days over the full 2013 to 2014 academic year - down from 9.3 days the year before
  • every single local authority saw a fall in their overall absence rates since the previous year
  • Blackpool saw the biggest drop in the rate of persistent absence - with a 42% year-on-year fall. 4.3% of pupils regularly miss school in the area
  • Newham had one of the lowest absence rates in the country despite high levels of deprivation, with an overall absence rate of 4%. The persistent absence rate also stands at just 2.6%

Research published last month showed just how important school attendance is. Nearly half of pupils - 44% - with no absence at key stage 4 achieve the English Baccalaureate, which includes English, maths, science, history or geography and a language.

But just 31.7% of pupils who miss 14 days of classes over their 2-year GCSE courses achieve the same level - and that fell to 16.4% for those who miss up to 28 days.

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