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Last reviewed on 21 August 2020
Ref: 10801
School types: All · School phases: All

Compare your school's data to others nationally and find out the difference in attendance between pupils eligible for FSM and those who aren't.

The Department for Education (DfE) publishes statistics on pupil absence and attendance every year. 

The data on absence rates among pupils who are and aren't eligible for free school meals (FSM) is set out in table 5.1 of each of the following datasets:

Primary schools 

2018/19 Pupils eligible for FSM Pupils not eligible for FSM
Overall absence 6.0% 3.6%
Authorised absence 3.9% 2.7%
Unauthorised absence 2.1% 1.0%
2017/18 Pupils eligible for FSM Pupils not eligible for FSM
Overall absence 6.3% 3.8%
Authorised absence 4.1% 2.9%
Unauthorised absence 2.2% 1.0%

Secondary schools 

2018/19 Pupils eligible for FSM Pupils not eligible for FSM
Overall absence 9.2% 4.8%
Authorised absence 5.0% 3.5%
Unauthorised absence 4.3% 1.3%
2017/18 Pupils eligible for FSM Pupils not eligible for FSM
Overall absence 9.2% 5.0%
Authorised absence 5.1% 3.7%
Unauthorised absence 4.1% 1.3%

Special schools

2018/19 Pupils eligible for FSM Pupils not eligible for FSM
Overall absence 11.8% 9.1%
Authorised absence 8.4% 7.4%
Unauthorised absence 3.4% 1.6%
2017/18 Pupils eligible for FSM Pupils not eligible for FSM
Overall absence 11.8% 9.3%
Authorised absence 8.5% 7.7%
Unauthorised absence 3.3% 1.6%

All schools 

2018/19 Pupils eligible for FSM Pupils not eligible for FSM
Overall absence 7.5% 4.2%
Authorised absence 4.5% 3.1%
Unauthorised absence 3.0% 1.1%
2017/18 Pupils eligible for FSM Pupils not eligible for FSM
Overall absence 7.6% 4.3%
Authorised absence 4.7% 3.2%
Unauthorised absence 2.9% 1.1%

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