The overall absence rate has decreased slightly across state-funded primary, secondary and special schools combined between 2017/18 and 2018/19 driven by an decrease in the authorised absence rate. Illness remains the main driver of absence rates.
The overall absence rate decreased in primary schools from 4.2% in 2017/18 to 4.0% in 2018/19. In secondary schools the rate remained steady at 5.5%. In special schools the overall rate decreased slightly from 10.2% to 10.1%
The authorised absence rate has declined from 3.5% in 2017/18 to 3.3% in 2018/19. This follows a period when the rate remained stable at 3.4% or 3.5% from 2013/14 to 2017/18.
The unauthorised absence rate has remained the same in 2017/18 and 2018/19 at 1.4%. This is the highest rate since consistent data became available in 2006/07.
Total number of days missed
The total number of days missed for overall absence across state-funded primary, secondary and special schools has increased from 59.1 million in 2017/18 to 59.6 million in 2018/19.
This reflects a rise in the total number of pupils. The average number of days missed per pupil enrolment has remained steady at 8.4 days in both 2017/18 and 2018/19.
92.1% of primary, secondary and special school pupil enrolments missed at least 1 session in 2017/18, this fell slightly to 91.6% in 2018/19. (A session is a morning or afternoon.)