Data at local authority level is published for each Thursday in the 2020/21 academic year up to Thursday 15 July 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. A school in West Northamptonshire was identified as having submitted incorrect data for 24 June and 1 July so data for this school has been removed from that local authority's totals.
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 
From 7 June pupil attendance and COVID-19 related absence figures for secondary schools, special schools, alternative provision and independent schools were 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). Attendance numbers will be published for vulnerable children and pupils eligible for FSM but attendance as a proportion of total is omitted. Primary schools are unaffected by this adjustment.
Summary of pupil absence by local area
This commentary focuses on COVID-19 related absence to give the clearest picture of the impact of the pandemic on pupil attendance.
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 and over time.
Chart 1 summarises COVID-19 related absence in each region, adjusted for Y11-13 not expected to attend, from 10 June to 15 July.
In the second half of the 2020/21 Summer term:
- COVID-19 related absence in state funded schools increased across all English regions between 10 June and 15 July.
- The highest rate of COVID-19 related absence during this period was 26.5% in the North East on 15 July, where COVID-19 related absence increased week on week from 10 June to 15 July. The effect is more pronounced in state funded secondary schools in the North East where 29.3% were absent for COVID-19 related reasons compared with 25% in state funded primary schools on 15 July.
- The North West region had the highest rates of COVID related absence between 10 – 24 June when compared to other regions. However, this increased at a slower rate between 1 and 15 July by 1.3 percentage points (15.4% to 16.7%) compared with the national rate of increase of 5.8 percentage points (8.5% to 14.3%) over the same period. Local authorities rates in the region varied. COVID related absences over this period in local authorities varied with the rate for Bury increasing by 7.2 percentage points from 15.1% and for Oldham decreasing by 4.8 from 24.9%
- London had the lowest rate of COVID-19 related absence of the English regions on 15 July at 9.6%. This still represents a large increase when compared with 0.9% on 10 June, an increase of 8.7 percentage points.
Comparing COVID-19 absence in primary and secondary state funded schools, they follow a similar trend between 10 June to 15 July across regions.
 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 COVID-19 related pupil absence in state primaries and secondaries respectively in each local authority from 10 June to 15 July.
- Areas with higher COVID-19 related absence 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.
- Data for Northamptonshire are not displayed on the chart following boundary changes. Data for this local authority is available in the underlying data.
- Response rates for state-funded primary and state-funded secondary schools should be considered when making comparisons between local authorities.
Chart 4 summarises workforce absence due to COVID-19 related reasons and absence due to other reasons between 22 April and 15 July.
The chart combines data for teachers and school leaders and teaching assistants and support staff in state-funded schools to give an overall workforce figure because their levels of absence and trends over time are similar. Data for the separate groups is in the underlying data.
- Across all regions, the proportion of the school workforce absent due to COVID-19 related reasons increased throughout the second half of the summer term.
- In all regions, COVID-19 related workforce absence was higher than absence due to other reasons on 15 July.
- Workforce COVID-19 related absences showed a similar regional trend as pupil absences.
- The North East had the highest COVID-19 related workforce absences on 15 July, with 11.1% of teachers and schools leaders and 11.0% teaching assistants or other staff absent for COVID-19 related reasons. This compares with 6.6% of teachers and schools leaders and 6.4% teaching assistants or other staff absent for COVID-19 related reasons nationally on 15 July.
- Workforce absence for all other reasons was stable across all regions between 10 June and 15 July, showing little variation when compared with COVID-19 related absence.