Week 44 2020

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

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  1. This update contains the correct statistic "46,000 early years settings were open on 29 October". The first release contained a typo. No charts or tables are affected.

A summary of attendance in education settings from Monday 23 March to Thursday 22 October and early years settings from Thursday 16 April to Thursday 29 October.

From 12 October, the education settings survey changed and therefore some metrics that used to be presented have been discontinued. The changes were made to give more comprehensive data about how many pupils are isolating from school for different reasons. There are no comparable figures to these from previous weeks.

This publication provides a high-level national summary of estimates from the Department for Education's education settings survey and local authority early years survey. We are working to expand the scope of published data in future releases. 

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.

As previously announced, data for education settings for week commencing 26 October will not published as most settings were on half term. Publication of this data will resume next week. Publications from previous weeks containing this data can be found on the right, in the “About these statistics” section.

Headline facts and figures - 2020

Early years settings

  • The early years local authority survey continues on a weekly basis.  We estimate 561,000 children are currently attending early years childcare settings – about 43% of the number of children who usually attend childcare in term time [1]. Due to many children attending EY settings on a part-time basis, we would not expect all children to be in attendance on the day of the data collection. On a typical day in the autumn term we expect attendance to be 887,000, due to different and part-time patterns of childcare during the week [2]. We estimate that the 561,000 children currently attending early years settings is approximately 63% of the usual daily level.
  • Both the number of children attending and the proportion of early years childcare settings open dropped on Thursday 29 October. This is most likely a result of half term closures.

[1] The number of children in term time was estimated using outputs from the Childcare and early years survey of parents: 2019 and ONS National Population Projections: 2018 based. 

[2] LAs are asked to send attendance in EY settings on a typical day of the week. We have calculated normal expected daily attendance based on estimates of the average number of days a child spends in formal childcare on any given day, using the Childcare and early years survey of parents: 2019. For further details please see the methodology section.

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