The absence record column shows the levels of overall absence, unauthorised absence and persistent absence over Autumn term 2010 and Spring term 2011 combined for day pupils of compulsory school age (age 5 to 15 at the start of the academic year 2010/2011).

The four columns show:

  • the percentage of half days missed due to overall absence;
  • the percentage of half-days missed due to unauthorised absence;
  • the percentage of pupils enrolments that are persistent absentees under the new 15% definition; and,
  • the percentage of pupils enrolments that are persistent absentees under the old 20% definition.

Overall absence is the percentage of possible half-days recorded as an absence from school for whatever reason, whether authorised or unauthorised.

Unauthorised absence is the percentage of possible half-days recorded as an absence from school under any combination of the following reasons:

  • Family holiday not agreed, or days taken in excess of an agreed family holiday.
  • Arrived after register closed.
  • Sessions missed for other reasons.
  • Sessions missed - no reason given. 
 

Persistent absence – The Department recently reduced the threshold at which a pupil is classified as a persistent absentee. It is now defined in terms of those missing around 15% overall absence, down from around 20% of overall absence.   For this year, we will publish data on the old definition alongside  data for the new one.  The persistent absence threshold for Autumn and Spring 2010/2011 equates to 38 or more half-day sessions, and 52 or more half-day sessions under the old definition.

Boarding enrolments are not included. Enrolments for whom zero possible sessions were recorded are not included. If we have not received complete information from a school, “absence rates are not published due to missing data or incorrect data return” is shown in the relevant columns. “Not applicable” applies to boarding schools with no day pupils and new schools which opened after the start of the academic year. In the case of schools that are part boarding, the published statistics relate only to the school’s day pupils and may not represent the levels of absence in the school as a whole.

There may be inconsistencies for some schools in the figures for the number of pupils on roll on 21 January 2011 and the number of pupils' enrolments underlying the persistent absence figure. This is because they have been calculated in different ways and serve different purposes.