Week 27 2020

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


A summary of attendance in schools and colleges since Monday 23 March and early years settings since Thursday 16 April.

These statistics have been produced quickly in response to developing world events. The Office for Statistics Regulation, on behalf of the UK Statistics Authority, has reviewed them against several key aspects of the Code of Practice for Statistics and regards them as consistent with the Code’s pillars of Trustworthiness, Quality and Value.

Headline facts and figures - 2020

  • We estimate that 16.9% of pupils (1,599,000) were attending schools and colleges in England on 2 July, up from 15.6% on 25 June.
  • Approximately 93% of schools and colleges were open in some capacity on 2 July, the same as  on 25 June. This figure includes independent schools and further education (FE) colleges, a proportion of which continue to provide online teaching to students. We estimate that over 94% of state-funded primary and secondary schools were open in some capacity on 2 July.
  • We estimate 88% of primary schools were open to nursery, reception, year 1 and/or year 6 on 2 July, a similar proportion to 25 June (89%).
  • Attendance was highest in year 6, with approximately 44% of all year 6 children in attendance on 2 July, up from 41% on 25 June. Attendance was around 38% in year 1, up from 34% and 40% in reception, up from 36%.
  • From 15 June, secondary schools, sixth form and further education colleges were asked to begin providing face-to-face support to students in year 10 and 12 to supplement their learning from home, alongside full time provision for students from priority groups. We estimate 75% of schools were open to at least one of these year groups on 2 July, excluding FE colleges and special post-16 institutions. This is a similar proportion to 25 June (74%).
  • Approximately 14% of year 10 and 12% year 12 students were in attendance on 2 July, excluding students in further education (FE) colleges and special post-16 institutions, similar to attendance on 25 June (13% in both year 10 and 12). The Department's guidance states that schools and colleges are able to have a quarter of their year 10 and year 12 cohort in attendance at any one time to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • Around 25% of children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or a social worker were attending an education setting on 2 July, up from 23% on 25 June.
  • Early years settings were also asked to begin welcoming back all children from 1 June. We estimate that on 2 July, 382,000 children were attending early years setting – about 23% of the number of children who usually attend in term time.


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