Data set from Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Table 1D - Daily workforce absence in education settings during the COVID-19 outbreak (excludes half term dates 19th October - 23rd October and 2nd November and spring term lockdown dates 11 January to 5 March)

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This file contains workforce absence statistics for education settings from 12 October 2020 to 11 March 2021 December. It excludes half term terms (19th October - 23rd October, and 2nd November 2020) and the national lockdown during the spring term (4 January to 5 March 2021). Data for workforce during the restricted opening of schools can be found in table 1e.

Data is in this file has been scaled to account for non-response so it is nationally representative.

Data set details

Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
Release type
Geographic levels
  • Number of teachers and school leaders absent for other reasons
  • Number of teachers and school leaders absent with a confirmed case of covid-19
  • Number of teachers and school leaders absent with a suspected case of covid-19
  • Date
  • Phase of education
Time period
2020 Week 42 to 2021 Week 10

Data set preview

Table showing first 5 rows, from underlying data
2020Week 42NationalE92000001England12/10/2020State-funded alternative provision-5054-260.5120.2841.7601.23.62394.76099-420.7240.4510.8751.23.12073.4
2020Week 42NationalE92000001England12/10/2020State-funded special-21918-1500.71340.65302.421514.79634.465097-2870.42590.415142.362114.127804.3
2020Week 42NationalE92000001England12/10/2020All state-funded schools-480654-25720.520400.457581.2466913.1165623.4653091-22480.321880.373641.149130.82.6183922.8
2020Week 42NationalE92000001England12/10/2020State-funded primary-240218-10140.49910.433511.422770.93.276863.2409371-13980.314430.448471.231270.82.6114492.8
2020Week 42NationalE92000001England12/10/2020State-funded secondary-213465-13820.69010.417930.8211612.976743.6172523-5210.34620.39530.610910.61.839552.3

Variables in this data set

Table showing first 5 of 29 variables
Variable nameVariable description
number_of_teachers_and_school_leaders_absent_for_other_reasonsNumber of teachers and school leaders absent for other reasons
number_of_teachers_and_school_leaders_absent_with_a_confirmed_case_of_covid_19Number of teachers and school leaders absent with a confirmed case of covid-19
number_of_teachers_and_school_leaders_absent_with_a_suspected_case_of_covid_19Number of teachers and school leaders absent with a suspected case of covid-19
number_of_teachers_and_school_leaders_isolating_due_to_contact_in_schoolNumber of teachers and school leaders isolating due to contact in school


  1. The number of students absent is rounded to the nearest 100, therefore there are some instances where figures between 1 and 49 are rounded to zero.
  2. Workforce absences are not known in closed schools. This means these figures are likely to be under-estimates of the numbers of workforce with confirmed or suspected cases and self-isolating, particularly when the proportion of schools closed for COVID-19 related reasons is higher.
  3. Workforce data, including workforce number on roll information which is needed in order to calculate percentages, was collected from 12 October.
  4. Figures for independent schools are unlikely to be representative. We looked at a sample of non-responding school websites across different phases to assess whether they were open to children of key workers and vulnerable children. This was to enable us to assess whether non-responding schools were as likely to be open as the responding schools. For independent schools, we found evidence that non-responding schools were more likely to be closed than responding schools. Open rates and attendance rates for independent schools are likely to be lower than reported here.
  5. Absence rates for teaching assistants and other staff are likely to be less robust as more work part-time. There are likely to be inconsistencies in how schools treat part time staff in their reported data, for example some may update their on roll numbers daily to account for part-time staff ‘expected’ to be on-site and others may not.
  6. On-site testing for staff was available from 4 January to 5 March. All staff are now encouraged to take two rapid COVID-19 tests each week at home. For staff classified as clinically extremely vulnerable, on-site attendance at work is not mandatory. Rates of confirmed cases and self-isolation among workforce may be impacted by levels of testing.
  7. The following education settings are included: academies (including free schools and studio schools), local authority maintained schools (excluding local authority nursery schools), non-maintained special schools, alternative provision and university technical colleges.
  8. An error was identified that affected national level absence rates for ‘teaching assistants and other staff’ published in underlying data table 1D and included in the narrative of the 19 January publication. This data, including the 19 January narrative, was corrected on 28 January. Absence rates at local authority level in table 1C, equivalent national-level absence rates for ‘teachers and school leaders’ and the number of ‘teaching assistants and other staff’ absent for each reason in table 1D were unaffected.
  9. The purpose of this data collection is primarily to understand attendance and teacher availability. This data is reported directly by schools via DfE's daily education settings survey. It is not the primary source of data on infection, incidence and COVID-19 cases overall. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published an analysis of the number of school workers who have had COVID-19 within their Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey publication on 6 November.
  10. COVID-19 related reasons include a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus and self-isolation due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus. Staff that are shielding would not be included in these figures.
  11. All national level figures are adjusted for non-response. Regional and local authority level figures are based on responding schools only. See accompanying document for full methodology.
  12. Workforce figures are grossed using the non-response methodology for state-funded settings. Further education, specialist post-16 and independent settings are not grossed. Only the proportions for each indicator have been included as a result.

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