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Last reviewed on 30 September 2021
Ref: 7329
School types: All · School phases: All

Compare your school's attendance data to others locally and nationally, using our summary of the data and templates. We explain how the data is collected and where you can find your own attendance data.

National data

The figures express the amount of missed half-day sessions as a percentage of all possible half-day sessions.

Primary schools 2017/18 2018/19
Overall absence  4.2 4.0
Unauthorised absence 1.1 1.1
Secondary schools 2017/18 2018/19
Overall absence 5.5 5.5
Unauthorised absence 1.6 1.8
Special schools 2017/18 2018/19
Overall absence 10.2 10.1
Unauthorised absence 2.2 2.3
All schools 2017/18 2018/19
Overall absence 4.8 4.7
Unauthorised absence 1.4 1.4

The data above is taken from table 1.1 of the national and local authority tables for 2018/19.

Reasons for absence

Reasons for authorised absences in 2018/19 included:

  • Illness (not including medical or dental appointments) (52.6%)
  • Medical or dental appointments (6.0%)
  • Agreed family holiday (1.4%)
  • Religious observance (1.1%)

Reasons for unauthorised absence included:

  • Family holidays not agreed with the school (8.7%)
  • Late arrival (1.5%)
  • Other (18.5%)

This is taken from table 2.1.

Local authority (LA) data

You can benchmark your school against your LA data in table 9 of the pupil absence main tables spreadsheet for 2018/19, linked to above. For each LA, it shows absence rates for primary, secondary, special and all schools in the area.

Use the DfE's 'compare school and

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