You are here:

Last updated 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%

Next steps

More from The Key

Anxiety (2).jpg

Pupil mental health: deepening understanding

Are you looking to deepen your staff's understanding of mental health, including anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation? Safeguarding Training Centre has the resources you need.

TeachingandLearning.jpg

Evidence-led training courses that make it easy to upskill staff, anytime, anywhere.

CPD Toolkit is the most effective way to virtually deliver evidence-led training and support the professional development of your staff. Downloadable courses and online 5-minute summaries provide flexibility for training, whether staff are participating as skeleton staff in-school, via video call or individually at their own pace.

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.