Week 14 2021

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

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  1. An amendment was made to underlying data table 1d to remove an identified data duplication.

  2. An amendment was made to underlying data table 1b to remove an identified data duplication.

A summary of attendance in education settings from Monday 23 March 2020 to Thursday 1 April 2021 (excluding out of term dates as data not collected) and early years settings from Thursday 16 April 2020 to 1 April 2021. The data covers England only. 

Data from 23 March 2020 is available in the underlying data files. The narrative in this publication focuses on Wednesday 31 March 2021 for education settings and Thursday 1 April for early years settings.

This publication provides a high-level summary of estimates from the Department for Education's education settings survey and local authority early years survey. Further data at national and local authority level is available in the underlying data.

These statistics have been produced quickly in response to developing world events. In May 2020, the Office for Statistics Regulation, on behalf of the UK Statistics Authority, reviewed them against several key aspects of the Code of Practice for Statistics and regarded them as consistent with the Code’s pillars of Trustworthiness, Quality and Value.

Expansion of publication content in future releases

We are working to expand the scope of published data in future releases.

Data sharing

Data collected from the Education Settings Survey is shared as management information across national and local government for operational purposes. As part of the data share we explicitly highlight that the information is for internal purposes only and should not be shared more widely. The limitations of the data, which include variables with missing values, responses not being validated or issues being thoroughly investigated are highlighted to ensure recipients are aware that decisions should not be made in isolation and the risks of making conclusions based on the data alone. We engage with local users to try to prevent the data being shared inappropriately. Where we identify misuse of the data we work with those in receipt of the data to understand how it happened and to reduce the likelihood it will happen again.

Information shared across government includes variables that we have made a conscious decision not to share more widely at the present moment for a number of reasons including the quality of the data which could misinform or confuse users, however, they may provide useful insight for operational purposes, particularly at a local level.

The department is continuously reviewing what and how information collected from the survey is disseminated and we will endeavour to publish data at the earliest opportunity.


Headline facts and figures - 2021

Some schools and colleges were on Easter break last week,  this means estimates are not directly comparable to previous weeks

  • Settings on Easter break have been excluded from our estimates to give the clearest picture of attendance
  • This commentary focuses on data as of Wednesday 31 March which represent around two-thirds of state-funded schools instead of all schools [1]

Pupil on-site attendance

  • Pupil attendance in state-funded schools was 90% on 31 March, excluding those on Easter break
    • Attendance was 93% in state-funded primary schools
    • Attendance was 87% in state-funded secondary schools
    • Attendance was 82% in state-funded special schools

Attendance in further education colleges

  • Approximately 201,000 students attended colleges on-site on 31 March, excluding colleges on Easter break

Attendance of vulnerable children and pupils eligible for free school meals

In state-funded schools on 31 March, excluding those on Easter break:

  • Attendance of pupils with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) was 84%
  • Attendance of pupils with a social worker was 81% [2]
  • Attendance of pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) was 85%

Attendance of vulnerable children and pupils eligible for free school meals is typically lower than for other pupils.

Pupil attendance by region

Local authority and regional level data are now included in this publication for the latter half of the 2020/21 Spring term (from mid February to early April). See the ‘Attendance by local authority’ section and underlying data table 1c.

  • Following wider opening of schools, attendance in state-funded schools was highest in the South East and South West  (92% on 25 March) and lowest in Yorkshire & Humber (86% on 25 March). This compares to 90% nationally on 25 March.
  • Areas with low attendance are generally those with higher rates of COVID-19 in the population at that time and vice versa.

Early years settings

  • The early years local authority survey continues on a weekly basis. We estimate 730,000 children are currently attending early years childcare settings on Thursday 1 April – about 49% of the number of children who usually attend childcare in term time [3]. 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 Spring term we expect attendance to be 1,052,000, due to different and part-time patterns of childcare during the week [4]. We estimate that the 730,000 children currently attending early years settings is approximately 69% of the usual daily level.

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[1] The vast majority of schools in the following local authorities were on Easter break for all or part of week commencing 29 March: Barnsley, Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Bradford, Cambridgeshire, Central Bedfordshire, Darlington, Doncaster, Durham, East Riding of Yorkshire, Essex, Hartlepool, Isle of Wight, City of Kingston upon Hull, Kirklees, Knowsley, Lancashire, Leicester, Leicestershire, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Norfolk, North Tyneside, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Oxfordshire, Peterborough, Redcar and Cleveland, Rotherham, Sefton, Southend-on-Sea, Stockport, Suffolk, Sunderland, Thurrock, Tower Hamlets, Wakefield, Wirral, York. Some schools in other local authorities were also on Easter break or had inset days. Academies are not required to follow local authority term dates and schools can set their own inset days. We estimate 68% of schools were not on Easter break on 31 March.

[2]  Pupils with a social worker are considered ‘children in need’. Our analysis after adjusting for non-response suggests that schools may be under-reporting the number of children with a social worker when compared to the most recently published children in need statistics. Therefore these estimates only account for pupils with a social worker that are identified by schools. Schools report on the form how many children with a social worker they have on roll. Our analysis suggests that the total number of children with a social worker differs by at least 30% compared to published figures for children with a social worker. This means our attendance figures for pupils with a social worker are likely to overestimate attendance.

[3] 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. 

[4] 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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Background

Following the announcement of the Prime Minister’s 4-step roadmap to COVID-19 recovery, school attendance once again became mandatory for all pupils from 8 March 2021. The usual rules and duties around school attendance have therefore been reinstated. 

There are some instances where pupils cannot attend school due to coronavirus (COVID-19). A small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice to self-isolate because they:

  • have symptoms or have had a positive test result
  • live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive and are a household contact
  • are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • are extremely vulnerable and therefore shielding

Pupils not receiving face-to-face education because they are complying with government guidance or legislation around coronavirus (COVID-19) should receive remote education.

The guidance for state-funded special schools, alternative provision and special post-16 institutions states that these providers should continue to allow all pupils and students to attend, unless they are self-isolating following public health advice. For providers with older pupils, every 16 to 19 student (or 19 to 25 with an EHCP) should undertake the majority of their planned hours on-site.

During the week commencing 8 March, schools were asked to offer secondary-age pupils asymptomatic testing on site. Pupils who consented to testing should have returned to face-to-face education following their first negative test result. Pupils not undergoing testing should attend school in line with the phased return arrangements of the school. Vulnerable children and children of critical workers in secondary schools should continue to attend school throughout unless they had received a positive test result. 

Colleges and special post-16 institutions were able to test students on return, initially on site and then moving towards home testing. Specialist settings had flexibility in how this was delivered.

All staff should continue to be offered two rapid COVID-19 tests each week at home. For staff classified as clinically extremely vulnerable, on-site attendance at work is not mandatory.

Education settings survey

To help understand the impact of these decisions, the Department for Education (DfE) established a survey of schools and colleges in England. Schools and colleges are asked to report information to DfE each day.

Further detail on amendments to this form can be found in the methodology. The most recent education settings survey went live on 8 March 2021 and reflect the most recent policy changes detailed above, including the phased return of secondary pupils and an understanding of lateral flow testing.

Local authority early years survey

To help understand the impact of these decisions, from 6 April 2020, the Department of Education (DfE) asked local authorities (LAs) to regularly report to the DfE information on the number of children in attendance, including the number of settings open or closed. The focus of this survey was narrowed to early years settings from 16 April. 

The early years local authority survey continues on a weekly basis. Ordinarily, fewer early years settings are open and fewer children are in attendance during school holidays. This is due to reduced demand for childcare and the closure of term-time only and school-based settings. Key school holiday dates have been clearly marked on the corresponding charts. 

The number of three-year-olds eligible for funded childcare, and therefore attending early years settings, increases through the academic year. Attendance in settings decreases in the autumn when children move to reception. Due to this, the underlying attendance assumptions are updated on a termly basis, which represents a break in the time series. This occurred on 10 September (for Autumn Term 2020) and on 7 January (for Spring Term 2021). For more details on the break in the time series, please see the methodology section. 

Data coverage

This data release includes data from the education settings survey from 23 March 2020 to 1 April 2021 (excluding out of term dates as data was not collected) and early years settings from 16 April 2020 to 1 April 2021. 

The narrative in this document focuses on Wednesday 31 March 2021 for education settings and Thursday 1 April for early years settings.

Non-response adjustment

Education settings survey

Non-response adjustments made to published figures from 9 September 2020 are summarised here. 

Open rate and attendance figures for state-funded schools in this release are adjusted to account for those that did not respond to the survey. The methodology used from 8 March 2021 assumes that state-funded schools that did not respond were no more likely to be closed, ask pupils to self-isolate or have lower attendance than responding state-funded schools. This follows analysis of response patterns, data collected from a sample of non-responding schools, and comparison with data collected through regular phone calls between DfE and local authorities to identify any closed schools. Figures for state-funded schools have been weighted to take account of differences in response rate between different school types.

Attendance figures for further education providers were included for the first time from 30 March. The non-response methodology used is similar to that of state-funded settings, assuming the same attendance rates for non-responding settings as responding settings. We do not hold information on the expected daily attendance of non-responding settings and therefore use an average from a two-week period during the autumn term to provide this for all settings. Further information is detailed in the ‘methodology’ section of this publication.

Response rates for independent schools are lower than other settings (less than 60%) and, following review of a sample of non-responding independent schools, we found non-responding independent schools were more likely to be closed than responders. Figures for independent schools have not been adjusted to account for this response bias and are presented based on responding schools only. This methodology remains in place from 8 March 2021.

For the non-response adjustment methodology made to published figures from 23 March to 16 July 2020, see the July 21 publication. Non-response adjustments have not been made to local authority level data. Further information on non-response adjustment can be found in the ‘methodology’ section of this publication.

Local authority early years survey

For the local authority early years survey, figures for the number of settings open and closed and the number of children attending for those LAs which did not respond are estimated based on the proportions reported by LAs which did respond. The national estimate comprises reported figures from LAs which did respond combined with these estimates (see the methodology section). From 1 June onwards, this methodology has been revised to take into account the wider opening of early years settings.

Open status for state-funded schools

  • 10,400 state-funded schools [5]  responded to the survey on 31 March. This represents 48% of state-funded schools in England. All figures for state-funded schools in this release are adjusted for non-response, further information about this can be found in the ‘methodology’ section of this release.
  • Over 99.9% of state-funded schools were open on 31 March, excluding those on Easter break. This figure excludes schools closed for non-COVID reasons.

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[5] State-funded schools are primary, secondary, special schools and alternative provision. Further education colleges, post-16 special institutions and independent schools are not included in these figures, however estimates for these settings are included in the ‘Open status and attendance by type of school or college’ section of this publication and in the underlying data.

Attendance in state-funded schools

School attendance became mandatory again from March 8 2021. Pupils with COVID-19 symptoms, or who have someone in their household who has COVID-19 symptoms, should not attend school. If someone who attended school tests positive for COVID-19, pupils they have been in close contact with will be asked to self-isolate.

Pupil attendance in state-funded schools

  • On-site attendance in state-funded schools, excluding those on Easter break, was 90% on 31 March
  • The overall absence rate in state-funded primary, secondary and special schools in England in the 2018/19 academic year was 4.7%. There are some differences in the calculation of this figure and our attendance estimates that affect comparability [6].

Absence in state-funded schools

The education settings survey asks open schools how many pupils are absent due to a suspected case of coronavirus, a confirmed case of coronavirus, self-isolation due to potential contact inside the school or self-isolation due to potential contact outside the school. These same questions were asked between 12 October and 17 December. 

This data is as reported directly by schools via the Department for Education’s daily education settings survey. It is not the primary source of data on infection, incidence, and COVID-19 cases overall. Further detail can be found within the coronavirus in the UK dashboardnational COVID-19 surveillance reports and coronavirus infection survey pilot statistics.

Secondary-age pupils should be offered asymptomatic testing, as per Department for Education guidance. Rates of pupil absence due to confirmed cases and self-isolation may be impacted by levels of testing. This should be taken into consideration when comparing absences between different types of schools.

For pupils, COVID-19 related absence includes pupils with a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus, those self-isolating and those on roll in schools closed due to COVID-19 related reasons. Pupils that are shielding would not be included in these figures.

We estimate that 2.4% of all pupils on roll in state-funded schools, excluding those on Easter break, did not attend school for COVID-19 related reasons on 31 March. This includes:

  • 5,000 pupils with a confirmed case of coronavirus, 0.1% of pupils on roll in open schools
  • 17,000 pupils with a suspected case of coronavirus, 0.3% of pupils on roll in open schools
  • 82,000 pupils self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus from inside the educational setting, 1.5% of pupils on roll in open schools
  • 30,000 pupils self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus from outside the educational setting, 0.5% of pupils on roll in open schools
  • 2,000 pupils were unable to attend school because their school was closed due to COVID-19 reasons, less than 0.1% of all pupils on roll

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[6] Overall absence rates that use school census data include pupils aged 5-15 in state-funded primary, secondary and special schools. Our attendance estimates include 4-year olds in reception and pupils over the age of 15 in state-funded schools. Both of these groups of pupils have higher than average absence rates. Pupils on roll in alternative provision, who have a higher than average absence rate, are included in our attendance estimates, but excluded from the overall absence rates that use school census data. 

Vulnerable children in state-funded schools

Attendance of pupils with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) and pupils with a social worker is typically lower than for other pupils [7].

  • Approximately 84% of all pupils with an EHCP in state-funded schools were in attendance on 31 March, excluding pupils on Easter break
  • Approximately 81% of all pupils with a social worker in state-funded schools were in attendance on 31 March, excluding pupils on Easter break. Pupils with a social worker are considered ‘children in need’. Our analysis after adjusting for non-response suggests that schools may be under-reporting the number of children with a social worker when compared to the most recently published children in need statistics [8]. Therefore, these estimates only account for pupils with a social worker that are identified by schools.

Pupils eligible for free school meals in state-funded schools

Recently published data shows that the number of pupils eligible for free schools meals (FSM) has increased from 1.44 million in January 2020 to 1.63 million in October 2020.

Attendance of pupils eligible for FSM is typically lower than for other pupils [9].

  • Approximately 85% of pupils eligible for FSM in state-funded schools were in attendance on 31 March, excluding pupils on Easter break

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[7]  The attendance of pupils with EHCPs and children in need is typically lower than for other pupils. In the 2018/19 academic year, the overall absence rate was 8.7% for pupils with a statement of SEN or an EHCP and 11.4% for children in need see Pupil absence in schools statistics and characteristics of children in need statistics  publication for more information. There are some differences in the calculation of these figures and our estimates that affect comparability.  See our methodology for more details.  

[8] Statistics: children in need and child protection Schools report on the form how many children with a social worker they have on roll. Our analysis suggests that the total number of children with a social worker differs by at least 30% compared to published figures for children with a social worker.

[9] Data from the 2018/19 academic year calculates the typical absence rate of pupils eligible for FSM to be 7.5% when compared to 4.7% for all pupils. This data is published here.

Open status and attendance by type of school or college

Response rate varies between school or college types, therefore some are more sensitive to the non-response methodology than others. Response rates were lower among independent schools, which means there is greater uncertainty around their estimates.

See table 1 for a summary of response rates and attendance rates by type of school

Pupil attendance in schools

  • Attendance in state-funded primary schools was 93% on 31 March, excluding pupils on Easter break.
  • Attendance in state-funded secondary schools was 87% on 31 March, excluding pupils on Easter break.
  • Attendance in state-funded special schools was 82% on 31 March, excluding pupils on Easter break. Attendance in special schools is typically lower than mainstream settings.

Student attendance in further education colleges

Since 8 March 2021, all students aged 16-19 or 19-25 with an EHCP are expected to undertake the majority of their planned hours on-site. Colleges were given flexibility to phase the return of students on-site to manage asymptomatic testing for COVID-19. Adult learners are also able to return on-site. A majority of planned hours is considered over 50% of a student’s planned programme.

To account for part-time students, further education colleges are asked to provide both the number of students that attended and the number of students that were expected to attend each day. Attendance figures for colleges include adult learners and part-time learners, as well as 16-19 year olds on full study programmes. Typically, attendance in further education colleges varies each day, term and academic year due to part-time learners and levels of enrolments.

  • 58% of further education colleges responded to the survey on Wednesday 31 March. This is lower than usual because some colleges were on Easter break. Further education colleges include general further education colleges, sixth form colleges and specialist designated colleges (for example land-based colleges).
  • We estimate 201,000 students attended colleges on-site on 31 March

Workforce absence in state-funded schools

Workforce absence

Following the wider reopening of school on 8 March 2021, all staff were expected to return to work on-site except those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

Interpretation of workforce absence data

The purpose of this data collection is primarily to understand attendance and teacher availability. This data is reported directly by schools via Department for Education'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) have published an analysis of schools workers during COVID-19 within these publications: COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey , COVID-19 Infection Survey from February 2021, and COVID-19 Infection Survey from November 2020.

From 5 January 2021, schools were asked to provide remote education for the majority of pupils which enabled staff to work remotely. Therefore, absence data from 11 January to 5 March was collected for staff unable to teach on-site or remotely, and not on staff who were self-isolating but could still teach remotely. Therefore, figures collected from 11 January to 5 March 2021 are not comparable to workforce absence data collected in the 2020/21 Autumn term or from 8 March 2021.

On-site testing for staff was available from 4 January to 5 March 2021. 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.

For workforce, COVID-19 related absence includes staff with a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus and those self-isolating. Staff that are shielding would not be included in these figures.

Workforce unable to work on-site 

  • We estimate 1.2% of teachers and school leaders and 1.3% of teaching assistants and other staff were absent from open schools, excluding those on Easter break, due to COVID-19 related reasons on 31 March.
    • 0.2% teachers and school leaders and 0.2% teaching assistants and other staff were absent from open schools with a confirmed case of coronavirus on 31 March.
    • Less than 0.1% teachers and school leaders and 0.1% teaching assistants and other staff were absent from open schools with a suspected case of coronavirus on 31 March.
    • 0.5% teachers and school leaders and 0.6% teaching assistants and other staff were self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus from inside the setting on 31 March.
    • 0.4% teachers and school leaders and 0.5% teaching assistants and other staff were self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus from outside the setting on 31 March.
  • We estimate that 4.6% of teachers and school leaders and 5.6% of teaching assistants and other staff were absent from open schools, excluding those on Easter break, for ‘other’ reasons on 31 March.

Workforce absence by school or college type is summarised in tables 2 and 3.

Attendance by local authority

Data at local authority level is published for each Thursday in the 2020/21 academic year up to Thursday 1 April in underlying data table 1c. Data for some Wednesdays is also provided, where this was used for the national commentary.

Interpretation of local authority level data 

Local authority level data is based on responding schools only.  

Unlike national level data, no adjustments are made for non-response.  

Response rates vary by local authority and by school phase or type within local authorities. Different schools within a local authority may respond on different days. Care should therefore be taken when comparing local authorities and when interpreting trends over time because differences could be due to response bias - where responding schools are not representative of all schools - and/or different schools being included in the data.  

Where there are differences in response rates between school phase or type, such as a higher response rate in primary schools than secondary schools, data by school phase or type is likely to be more reliable than overall data for all state-funded schools.  

Percentages will be more robust than overall numbers of schools or children as these have not been scaled up. 

Local authorities with response rates 50% or below are flagged as such in the underlying data. 

Some data is based on fewer schools than others, making it more sensitive to change.  

The number of state-funded schools varies considerably by local authority: from 22 in Rutland to over 600 in Lancashire, excluding City of London and Isles of Scilly which have one each. Data based on a small numbers of schools, particularly when comparing over time, can be more variable.  

Data based on one school has been suppressed and data based on 10 or fewer schools are flagged as such in the underlying data. 

Typically, attendance is higher in some local authorities than others.  

Differences in attendance between local areas before the coronavirus outbreak should be taken into account when comparing local authorities.  

Pupil absence in the 2019 autumn term is published by local authority and shows that absence ranged from 2.9 to 6.5% at local authority level. There are some differences in the calculation of pupil absence and our attendance estimates that affect comparability [10]

Summary of attendance by local area 

Chart 1 summarises attendance in each region from September 2020 to late March 2021.

  • From the beginning of the spring term until wider opening of schools in March, schools were only open to vulnerable children and children of critical workers. In all regions, attendance steadily increased from the beginning of the spring term until wider opening. Following wider opening on 8 March, attendance increased to levels similar or above those in September 2020.
  • Following wider opening of schools, attendance in state-funded schools was highest in the South East and South West  (92% on 25 March) and lowest in Yorkshire & Humber (86% on 25 March). This compares to 90% nationally on 25 March.

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[10]  Overall absence rates that use school census data include pupils aged 5-15 in state-funded primary, secondary and special schools. Our attendance estimates include 4-year olds in reception and pupils over the age of 15 in state-funded schools. Both of these groups of pupils have higher than average absence rates. Pupils on roll in alternative provision, who have a higher than average absence rate, are included in our attendance estimates, but excluded from the overall absence rates that use school census data. 

Charts 2 and 3 show attendance in state primaries and secondaries respectively in each local authority on 25 March following the wider opening of schools.

  • Areas with low attendance are generally local authorities with higher rates of COVID-19 in the population at that time and vice versa.
  • The ranges for each chart are automatically set and the same shade does not mean the same level of attendance on each chart.
  • Response rates for each data point are available in the ‘Table’ tab alongside each chart.

Early years settings

The Department for Education has been collecting local authority-level data on Early Years childcare provision since April 2020 on a weekly basis. This data has been crucial to the Department during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure it holds accurate data and that there are enough childcare places. Having reviewed the need for this collection, as well as acting on feedback from the sector, we are consulting on moving to a fortnightly data collection from the end of April until the summer half term. After half term we will review the frequency again as the need for this timely data decreases. This aims to find a balance between reducing some of the time and resource pressures on local authorities and providers, whilst ensuring the Department maintains having timely data. If you have any feedback on this proposal, then please contact earlyyears.entitlements@education.gov.uk with your views.

The response rate to the early years local authority survey was 77%, with 117 out of 151 LAs submitting data on 1 April.

The following figures are adjusted for non-response. More information can be found in the Methodology section of this release.

  • An estimated 52,000 early years settings were open on 1 April. This represents 76% of all settings, with 13% closed and 11% unknown [9]. The percentage closed may include some providers which are open, due to differences in the ways local authorities collect data and report non-responses. This is currently being reviewed.

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[9] Due to rounding, these do not always sum to 100%. 

Estimated number of children in attendance

The number of children in attendance is as reported by Local Authorities, based on data they collect from Early Years providers. Depending on the data collection methodology used, estimates could be affected by the number of providers submitting their information each week. As such there is a high degree of uncertainty around the figures. We believe actual attendance to be higher than indicated, due to not all Local Authorities reporting data for all providers.

  • We estimate 730,000 children attended early years settings on 1 April, down from 843,000 on 25 March. This represents approximately 49% of the number of children who usually attend childcare in term time [10].
  • 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 Spring term we expect attendance to be 1,052,000. We estimate that the 730,000 children currently attending early years settings is approximately 69% of the usual daily level [11].
  • Approximately 31,000 vulnerable children attended early years settings on 1 April, down from 37,000 on 25 March. This represents around 38% of 0 to 4 year olds classified as ‘Children in Need’ or who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) [12].

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[10] 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.

[11] 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.

[12] Attendance rates for vulnerable children are presented as a proportion of the estimated number of children aged 0-4 with an EHCP using formal childcare (from the 2020 children in Need census) plus the total number of Children in Need aged 0-4 (from the January 2020 school census). This excludes children in Reception classes. We do not have estimates of the number of Children in Need who usually use formal childcare. The attendance rate is presented to allow comparisons to be made over time, but does not accurately represent a ‘typical attendance rate’ and is not comparable with the proportion of children who usually attend childcare in term time nor with the schools attendance rates for Vulnerable Children. 

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Find out more about the standards we follow to produce these statistics through our Standards for official statistics published by DfE guidance.

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