Attendance: persistent absence threshold and statistics

Pupils are persistent absentees if they miss 10% of sessions or more. Learn how to analyse your data, and see the national statistics.

Last reviewed on 31 March 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 8194
Contents
  1. Persistent absence threshold is 10%
  2. Compare your data to the national statistics 
  3. Calculate persistent absence as a proportion of all absence
  4. Know what Ofsted will look at
  5. Take action to reduce persistent absence

Persistent absence threshold is 10%

If a pupil's overall absence rate is 10% or higher of their possible sessions, they're classified as a persistent absentee. A 'session' is one morning or afternoon in school.

This is based on their individual absence level, not by comparison to a national threshold. 

The calculation for this is:

[A pupil’s individual overall absence divided by a pupil’s individual possible sessions] multiplied by 100. If this is greater than or equal to 10, the pupil is classified as persistently absent.

Or, visually:

The Key

You can read more about this calculation in the DfE's guidance on pupil absence statistics, paragraph 3.2.2.

Worked example

Compare your data to