Week 24 2021

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

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  1. Table 1b updated to include attendances of vulnerable children and children eligible for free school meals.

Introduction

A summary of attendance in education settings from 23 March 2020 to 10 June 2021 and early years settings from 16 April 2020 to 10 June 2021, excluding out of term dates as data is not collected. The data covers England only. 

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.

Pupil absence in schools in England: autumn term stats were published on 27 May 2021 presenting absence data collected via the school census covering the pandemic. That release is derived from pupil level data from which further analysis, such as the amount of time missed, can be derived.

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.

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

This commentary focuses on COVID-19 related absence to give the clearest picture of the impact of the pandemic on pupil attendance. 

For this publication, pupil attendance and COVID-19 related absence figures for secondary schools, special schools, alternative provision and independent schools are adjusted to exclude year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance because they are off-site for approved purposes, to improve the accuracy of attendance estimates (see methodology for more detail). This approach is in line with the approach taken in the national publication of absence data which excludes pupils in Y11 and above in the second half of the summer term. To minimise the burden on providers, we have not requested additional characteristic information for year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance for these reasons and from 7 June until the end of the summer term are unable to continue to publish reliable percentage estimates of attendance among pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM), pupils with an education and health care plan (EHCP) in these settings. Data for state-funded primary schools will be published as before.

Attendance numbers for pupils with an EHCP, pupils with a social worker and pupils eligible for FSM are included in the underlying data (updated 16 June). It is important to note that these figures are not adjusted and should not be used to derive a proportion of pupils in attendance, unless where given in the data (state funded primary).

A small proportion of schools (less than 1%) were known to be on half term between 24 and 28 May and have been excluded from our estimates.

Open Rates

  • Over 99.9% of state-funded schools were open on 10 June, similar to 27 May.

Pupil absence

For pupils, COVID-19 related absence includes those 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. Pupils self-isolating should receive remote education.

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.

  • COVID-related pupil absence in state-funded schools adjusted to exclude year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance because they are off-site for approved purposes was 1.2% on 10 June. This is not comparable to the previous published attendance rate of 1.8% on 27 May as this figure included all pupils in year 11-13.
    • In primary schools, COVID-related absence was 1.1% on 10 June, down from 1.6% on 27 May.
    • In secondary schools, COVID-related absence adjusted to exclude year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance because they are off-site for approved purposes was 1.4% on 10 June. This is not comparable to the previous published attendance rate of 2% on 27 May as this figure included all pupils in year 11-13.
  • A breakdown of COVID-19 related pupil absence in open schools on 10 June is given in table 1. Among pupils absent for COVID-19 reasons, the main reason for absence is self-isolation due to contact with a potential case of coronavirus inside the school. On 10 June, 0.5% of pupils were absent for this reason.
  • Less than 0.1% of pupils in state-funded schools were absent on 20 June because their school was closed due to COVID-19 related reasons.

Table 1: Proportion of pupils absent from open schools due to COVID-19 reasons on 10 June (adjusted to exclude year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance because they are off-site for approved purposes)

PhaseProportion of pupils with a suspected case of COVID-19 (%)Proportion of pupils with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (%)Proportion of pupils self-isolating due to contact inside school (%)Proportion of pupils self-isolating due to contact outside school (%)
State-funded primary0.2%0.1%0.4%0.4%
State-funded secondary0.1%0.1%0.7%0.4%
State-funded special0.2%0.1%0.5%0.5%
All state-funded schools0.1%0.1%0.5%0.4%

Pupil attendance

  • Attendance in all state-funded schools was adjusted to exclude year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance because they are off-site for approved purposes was 92.4%.  This is not comparable to the attendance rate of 88.2% on 27 May as this included all pupils in year 11-13.
  • Attendance in state-funded primary schools was 95.1% on 10 June, up from 93.7% on 27 May.
  • Pupil attendance in secondary schools adjusted to exclude year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance because they are off-site for approved purposes was 88.7% on 10 June. This is not comparable to the attendance rate of 81.7% on 27 May as this included all pupils in year 11-13.

Workforce absence

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.

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. All staff are also encouraged to take two rapid COVID-19 tests each week at home. 

COVID-related absence amongst workforce has remained consistently low during the first half of the Summer term. For both teachers and school leaders and teaching assistants and other staff, COVID-related absence has been at or below 0.5% since the start of the summer term until 20 May, after which there was an increase.

  • We estimate that 0.9% of teachers and school leaders in open state-funded schools were absent due to COVID-19 reasons on 10 June, up from 0.7% on 27 May.
  • We estimate that 0.7% of teaching assistants and other staff in open state-funded schools were absent due to COVID-19 reasons on 10 June, up from 0.6% on 27 May.
  • We estimate that 4.0% of teachers and school leaders and 4.0% of teaching assistants and other staff in open state-funded schools were absent for other reasons on 10 June. This is down from 4.5% for both groups on 27 May.

Early years settings

  • The early years local authority survey has moved to fortnightly. We estimate 910,000 children are currently attending early years childcare settings on Thursday 10 June 2021 – about 56% 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 Summer term we expect attendance to be 1,154,000, due to different and part-time patterns of childcare during the week [2]. We estimate that the 910,000 children currently attending early years settings is approximately 79% of the usual daily level.

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[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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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.

All staff should continue to be offered two rapid COVID-19 tests each week at home. Shielding advice has been paused nationally from 31 March 2021. Clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) individuals are no longer advised to shield but must continue to follow the rules in place for everyone under the current national restrictions. Staff in schools who are CEV are advised to continue to work from home where possible, but if they cannot work from home should attend their workplace.

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.

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 2020. The early years local authority survey moved to fortnightly from 29 April 2021. 

Patterns of childcare use vary through the year. 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. Four-year-olds remain in early years settings before moving into reception in the autumn term, where attendance in settings decreases. 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 2020 (for Autumn Term 2020), on 7 January  2021 (for Spring Term 2021) and on 22 April 2021 (for Summer 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 10 June 2021 (excluding school holidays) and early years settings from 16 April 2020 to 10 June 2021. 

The narrative in this document focuses on Thursday 10 June 2021 for education settings and early years settings.

Non-response adjustment

Education settings survey

Non-response adjustments made to published figures from 9 September 2020 are summarised here. The response rate among state-funded schools was 65% on 10 June. 

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 2020 onwards, this methodology has been revised to take into account the wider opening of early years settings.

Open status for state-funded schools

  • 14,000 state-funded [3] schools responded to the survey on 10 June. This represents 65% of all state-funded schools. All figures for state-funded schools in this release are adjusted for non-response, for which further information can be found in the ‘methodology’ section of this release.
  • Over 99.9% of state-funded schools were open on 10 June, similar to 27 May.
  • Of the small proportion (less than 0.1%) of state-funded schools that were closed, the majority were due to COVID-related reasons.

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[3] All figures are for state-funded schools. 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.

Attendance in state-funded schools

Department for Education guidance states that school attendance became mandatory once again for all pupils from 8 March 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 then tests positive for COVID-19, pupils they have been in close contact with will also be asked to self-isolate.

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 1.2% of all pupils on roll, adjusted to exclude year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance because they are off-site for approved purposes, in state-funded schools did not attend school for COVID-19 related reasons on 10 June. 

This includes:

  • 11,000 pupils with a suspected case of coronavirus, 0.1% of pupils on roll in open schools
  • 7,000 pupils with a confirmed case of coronavirus, 0.1% of pupils on roll in open schools
  • 40,000 pupils self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus from inside the educational setting, 0.5% of pupils on roll in open schools
  • 32,000 pupils self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus from outside the educational setting, 0.4 % of pupils on roll in open schools
  • Less than 0.1% of pupils were absent as a result of school closures due to COVID-related reasons.

This is not comparable to the previously published proportion of pupils on roll in state-funded schools who did not attend school for COVID-19 related reasons on 27 May which was 1.8%. 

Pupil attendance in state-funded schools

  • On-site attendance adjusted to exclude year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance because they are off-site for approved purposes in state-funded schools was 92.4% on 10 June.
  • This is not comparable to the previous published on site attendance of 88.2% on 27 May.
  • The overall absence rate in state-funded primary, secondary and special schools in England in the 2018/19 academic year was 4.7%. However, there are differences in the calculation of this figure and our attendance estimates that affect comparability, particularly during the Summer term [4]. Absence rates calculated from the census exclude students in year 12 and 13 and those in year 11 are excluded during the summer term, however these groups are included in the daily education settings survey until 10 June, where year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance because they are off-site for approved purposes are excluded.

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[4] 2018/19 overall absence rates 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 2018/19 overall absence rates.

For this publication, pupil attendance and COVID-19 related absence figures for secondary schools, special schools, alternative provision and independent schools are adjusted to exclude year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance because they are off-site for approved purposes, to improve the accuracy of attendance estimates (see methodology for more detail). This approach is in line with the approach taken in the national publication of absence data which excludes pupils in Y11 and above in the second half of the summer term. To minimise the burden on providers, we have not requested additional characteristic information for year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance for these reasons and from 7 June until the end of the summer term are unable to continue to publish reliable percentage estimates of attendance among pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM), pupils with an education and health care plan (EHCP) in these settings. Data for state-funded primary schools will be published as before.

Vulnerable children in state-funded primary schools

Attendance of pupils with an EHCP and pupils with a social worker is typically lower than for other pupils [5]

  • Approximately 93% of all pupils with an EHCP on roll in state-funded primary schools were in attendance on 10 June, up from from 91% on 27 May.
  • Approximately 92% of all pupils with a social worker on roll in state-funded primary schools were in attendance on 10 June, up from 90% on 27 May. 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 [6]. 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 primary schools

Attendance of pupils eligible for FSM is typically lower than for other pupils [7]Recently published data shows that the number of pupils eligible for free schools meals has increased from 1.44 million in January 2020 to 1.63 million on 1 October 2020.

  • Approximately 94% of all pupils eligible for FSM on roll in state-funded primary schools were in attendance on 10 June, up from 92% on 27 May.

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[5]  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.  

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

[7] Data from the 2018/19 academic year calculates the typical absence rate of FSM pupils 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 tables 2 and 3 for a summary of response rates, open rates and attendance rates by school and college type.

Pupil on-site attendance

  • Attendance in state-funded primary schools was 95.1% on 10 June, up from 93.7% on 27 May.
  • Attendance adjusted to exclude year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance because they are off-site for approved educational purposes in state-funded secondary schools was 88.7% on 10 June.
  • Attendance adjusted to exclude year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance because they are off-site for approved educational purposes in state-funded special schools was 86.8% on 10 June. Attendance at special schools is typically lower than at mainstream settings.

Attendance in state-funded secondary schools and state-funded special schools are not comparable to the previously published attendance rates of 81.7% and 84.6% respectively, on 27 May. 

Attendance of vulnerable children and pupils eligible for free school meals

For this publication, pupil attendance and COVID-19 related absence figures for secondary schools, special schools, alternative provision and independent schools are adjusted to exclude year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance because they are off-site for approved purposes, to improve the accuracy of attendance estimates (see methodology for more detail). This approach is in line with the approach taken in the national publication of absence data which excludes pupils in Y11 and above in the second half of the summer term. To minimise the burden on providers, we have not requested additional characteristic information for year 11-13 pupils identified as not in attendance for these reasons and from 7 June until the end of the summer term are unable to continue to publish reliable percentage estimates of attendance among pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM), pupils with an education and health care plan (EHCP) in these settings. Data for state-funded primary schools will be published as before.

  • In primary schools, approximately 93% of pupils with an education, health and care plan (EHCP), 92% of pupils with a social worker [7] and 94% of pupils eligible for free school meals were in attendance on 10 June. This compares to 95.1% attendance of all pupils in primary schools on 10 June. Attendance is up from 90% for pupils with a social worker, 92% for pupils eligible for free school meals and 91% for pupils with an EHCP.
  • Equivalent figures for secondary schools are affected by some schools offering different provision for year 11 and 13 students and are therefore not summarised here.

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

Attendance in further education colleges

Further education colleges are asked to provide data for the previous day, therefore the data is lagged by one day and our reporting focuses on Wednesdays rather than Thursdays. 

Further education colleges are asked to provide via the daily education settings survey the number of students that attended and the number of students that were expected to attend each day, to account for part-time students. 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.

From 5 January to 5 March 2021, further education colleges were expected to open only for vulnerable students and the children of critical workers, while all other students were expected to learn remotely. 

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 [9]. 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.

  • 87% of further education colleges responded to the survey in reference to Wednesday 9 June. Further education colleges include general further education colleges, sixth form colleges and specialist designated colleges (for example land-based colleges).
  • All responding further education colleges reported they were open on 9 June.
  • We estimate 253,000 students were attending colleges on-site on 9 June, down from 279,000 on 26 May. See chart 3 for a summary of attendance in further education colleges between 11 January and 9 June 2021.
  • On-site attendance in colleges in the autumn term typically ranged between 250,000 and 400,000 students each day. Due to quality issues with some data collected in the autumn term, attendance estimates in colleges are not available for each day in the autumn term.

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[9] A majority of planned hours is considered over 50% of a student’s planned programme.

Workforce absence

Workforce absence

Following the wider reopening of schools on 8 March 2021, all staff were expected to return to work on-site. Shielding advice was paused nationally from 31 March 2021 and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals are no longer advised to shield.

Interpretation of workforce absence data

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.

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.

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.

Workforce unable to work on-site 

  • We estimate 0.9% of teachers and school leaders and 0.7% of teaching assistants and other staff were absent from open schools due to COVID-19 related reasons on 10 June, up from 0.7% and 0.6% respectively on 27 May.
    • 0.1% of teachers and school leaders and less than 0.1% of teaching assistants and other staff were absent from open schools with a suspected case of coronavirus on 10 June. This is the similar to 27 May.
    • 0.2% of teachers and school leaders and 0.1% of teaching assistants and other staff were absent from open schools with a confirmed case of coronavirus on 10 June. For teachers and school leaders this has increased from 0.1% on 27 May. For teaching assistants and other staff this is similar to 27 May.
    • 0.2% of teachers and school leaders and 0.2% teaching assistants and other staff were absent from open schools self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus from inside the setting on 10 June. This is down from 0.4% for both teachers and school leaders and teaching assistants and other staff on 27 May.
    • 0.5% of teachers and school leaders and 0.4% of teaching assistants and other staff were absent from open schools self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus from outside the setting on 10 June/ This is up from 0.2% for both teachers and school leaders and teaching assistants and other staff on 27 May.
  • We estimate that 4.0% of teachers and school leaders and 4.0% of teaching assistants and other staff were absent from open schools for ‘other’ reasons on 10 June. This is down from 4.5% for both groups on 27 May. 

Workforce absence by school or college type is summarised in tables 4 and 5.

Early years settings

The response rate to the early years local authority survey was 86%, with 131 out of 152 LAs submitting data on 10 June 2021.

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

  • An estimated 54,000 early years settings were open on 10 June 2021. This represents 80% of all settings, with 7% closed and 13% unknown [10]. 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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[10] 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 every other 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 910,000 children attended early years settings on 10 June 2021. This represents approximately 56% of the number of children who usually attend childcare in term time [11].
  • 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 Summer term we expect attendance to be 1,154,000. We estimate that the 910,000 children currently attending early years settings is approximately 79% of the usual daily level [12].
  • Approximately 39,000 vulnerable children attended early years settings on 10 June 2021. This represents around 49% of 0 to 4 year olds classified as ‘Children in Need’ or who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) [13].

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[11] 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.

[12] 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.

[13] 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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Methodology

Find out how and why we collect, process and publish these statistics

Official statistics

These are Official Statistics and have been produced in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

This can be broadly interpreted to mean that these statistics are:

  • managed impartially and objectively in the public interest
  • meet identified user needs
  • produced according to sound methods
  • well explained and readily accessible

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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If you have a specific enquiry about Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic statistics and data:

COVID Attendance Statistics

Email
Datarequests.COVID@education.gov.uk

Telephone: Raffaele Sasso
037 0000 2288

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