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In 2006 the School Census (SC) started to collect pupil level absence data on a termly basis (spring, summer and autumn collections) from maintained secondary schools, city technology colleges and academies relating to absence in the 2005/06 school year. For the 2006/07 school year the scope of the collection was extended to maintained primary schools.
The SC collects information for a pupil's attendance in the term prior to the census e.g. the spring SC collects information on absence during the autumn term. It collects information on the number of possible sessions, and those that are authorised or unauthorised and the reason for the absence.
Special schools complete an annual pupil level absence return and this was collected for the first time for the 2006/07 school year.
General information on authorised, unauthorised and overall absence is published in Statistical Reports and Statistical First Releases for the autumn term, spring term and autumn and spring term combined. However, some of the publications provide information on persistent absentees.
A full school year's absence data (autumn term, spring term and the first half of the summer term) is published in Statistical First Releases called, "Pupil Absence in Schools in England, including Pupil Characteristics".
The autumn term publication provides information on authorised, unauthorised and overall absence, reason for absence along with information on persistent absentees and those pupils that may become a persistent absentee. These are given at national and Local Authority level.
The spring term publication only includes information on authorised, unauthorised and overall absence and reason for absence. National and Local Authority level information is provided.
The autumn and spring term combined publication includes information on authorised, unauthorised and overall absence, reason for absence and persistent absentees. This data is provided at national and Local Authority level.
The full school year's absence data publication shows the general information on authorised, unauthorised and overall absence, reason for absence and persistent absentees. It also provides data on absence and persistent absentees by pupil characteristics such as, gender, free school meal eligibility, national curriculum year group, first language, special educational needs and ethnicity. Information is also provided on distribution of enrolments by length of overall absence, percentage of enrolments by their overall absence and number of schools by the percentage of persistent absentees. Analysis on absence is also provided for academies. As well as the information being provided at national and Local Authority level absence data has been provided at district level, Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) and degree of rurality.
For more detailed information on the data coverage and quality see the technical notes of the publication text.
Prior to 2005/06 absence data was collected via the Absence in Schools Survey.
View statistical publications about Pupil Absence
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