Autumn Term 2020/21

Pupil absence in schools in England: autumn term

Data guidance

Published

Description

This document describes the data included in the ‘Pupil absence in schools in England: Autumn term 2020/21’ National Statistics release’s underlying data files. This data is released under the terms of the Open Government License and is intended to meet at least 3 stars for Open Data.

The  absence methodology document should be referenced alongside this data. It provides information on the data sources, their coverage and quality as well as explaining methodology used in producing the data.

Coverage

This release provides information on the levels of overall, authorised and unauthorised absence in:

  • state-funded primary schools
  • state-funded secondary schools
  • special schools

It includes information on:

  • reasons for absence
  • persistent absentees
  • separate absence information for pupil referral units (including alternative provision academies and free schools)

The information is based on pupil level absence data collected via the school census.

The underlying data files include national, regional and local authority absence information from autumn 2006 to autumn 2020 for England. School level absence data is included from autumn 2016 to autumn 2020. Termly absence data has been collected from special schools from autumn 2016 and appears in the underlying data from that point. Data from autumn 2006 to autumn 2015 cover primary and secondary schools only.

File formats and conventions

Rounding and Suppression

This dataset has not had suppression applied. Rates are presented to one decimal place in the report but are unrounded in the underlying data files

Conventions

The following convention is used throughout the underlying data. 

‘:’  Not available.

‘z’  Not applicable

Data files

All data files associated with this releases are listed below with guidance on their content. To download any of these files, please visit our data catalogue.

01 - Absence rates by geographic level

Filename
absence_1term_nat_reg_la_sch.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2006/07 Autumn Term to 2020/21 Autumn Term
Content

Absence information for all enrolments in state-funded primary, secondary and special schools including information on overall absence, persistent absence and reason for absence for pupils aged 5-15. 

National, Regional and Local Authority data from 2006/07. 

School data is included from 2016/17. Primary and secondary only before 2016/17. 

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
enrolmentsNumber of pupil enrolments
enrolments_PA_10_exactNumber of persistent absentees
enrolments_pa_10_exact_percentPercentage of persistent absentees
num_schoolsNumber of schools
school_typeSchool type - Filter by school type - Total includes primary, secondary and special
sess_auth_appointmentsNumber of medical appointments sessions
sess_auth_appointments_rateMedical appointments rate
sess_auth_excludedNumber of excluded sessions
sess_auth_excluded_rateExcluded rate
sess_auth_ext_holidayNumber of extended authorised holiday sessions
sess_auth_ext_holiday_rateExtended authorised holiday rate
sess_auth_holidayNumber of authorised holiday sessions
sess_auth_holiday_rateAuthorised holiday rate
sess_auth_illnessNumber of illness sessions
sess_auth_illness_rateIllness rate
sess_auth_otherNumber of authorised other sessions
sess_auth_other_rateAuthorised other rate
sess_auth_religiousNumber of religious observance sessions
sess_auth_religious_rateReligious observance rate
sess_auth_studyNumber of study leave sessions
sess_auth_study_rateStudy leave rate
sess_auth_totalreasonsNumber of authorised reasons sessions
sess_auth_totalreasons_rateAuthorised reasons rate
sess_auth_travellerNumber of traveller sessions
sess_auth_traveller_rateTraveller rate
sess_authorisedNumber of authorised absence sessions
sess_authorised_percentAuthorised absence rate
sess_overallNumber of overall absence sessions
sess_overall_percentOverall absence rate
sess_overall_totalreasonsNumber of overall reasons sessions
sess_overall_totalreasons_rateOverall reasons rate
sess_possibleNumber of sessions possible
sess_unauth_holidayNumber of unauthorised holiday sessions
sess_unauth_holiday_rateUnauthorised holiday rate
sess_unauth_lateNumber of late sessions
sess_unauth_late_rateLate rate
sess_unauth_noyetNumber of no reason yet sessions
sess_unauth_noyet_rateNo reason yet rate
sess_unauth_otherNumber of unauthorised other sessions
sess_unauth_other_rateUnauthorised other rate
sess_unauth_totalreasonsNumber of unauthorised reasons sessions
sess_unauth_totalreasons_rateUnauthorised reasons rate
sess_unauthorisedNumber of unauthorised absence sessions
sess_unauthorised_percentUnauthorised absence rate
sess_x_covidNumber of sessions recorded as not attending due to COVID circumstances
sess_x_covid_rateRate of sessions recorded as not attending due to COVID circumstances
sess_y_exceptionalNumber of sessions recorded as exceptional circumstances
Footnotes
  1. Total includes state-funded primary, secondary and special schools. Data for special schools is available from 2016/17 to present.
  2. Total includes state-funded primary and secondary schools. Does not include special schools. Available from 2006/07 to present (data for special schools is available from 2016/17 onwards).
  3. Sessions recorded as not attending due to COVID circumstances are included as possible sessions but not as an absence within absence rates.

02 - Absence in Pupil Referral Units

Filename
absence_1term_pru_.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2013/14 Autumn Term to 2020/21 Autumn Term
Content

Absence information for pupil referral units (including alternative provision academies and free schools). Data has been collected from 2013/14.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
enrolmentsNumber of pupil enrolments
enrolments_PA_10_exactNumber of persistent absentees
enrolments_pa_10_exact_percentPercentage of persistent absentees
num_schoolsNumber of schools
sess_auth_appointmentsNumber of medical appointments sessions
sess_auth_excludedNumber of excluded sessions
sess_auth_ext_holidayNumber of extended authorised holiday sessions
sess_auth_holidayNumber of authorised holiday sessions
sess_auth_illnessNumber of illness sessions
sess_auth_otherNumber of authorised other sessions
sess_auth_religiousNumber of religious observance sessions
sess_auth_studyNumber of study leave sessions
sess_auth_totalreasonsNumber of authorised reasons sessions
sess_auth_travellerNumber of traveller sessions
sess_authorisedNumber of authorised absence sessions
sess_authorised_percentAuthorised absence rate
sess_overallNumber of overall absence sessions
sess_overall_percentOverall absence rate
sess_overall_totalreasonsNumber of overall reasons sessions
sess_possibleNumber of sessions possible
sess_unauth_holidayNumber of unauthorised holiday sessions
sess_unauth_lateNumber of late sessions
sess_unauth_noyetNumber of no reason yet sessions
sess_unauth_otherNumber of unauthorised other sessions
sess_unauth_totalreasonsNumber of unauthorised reasons sessions
sess_unauthorisedNumber of unauthorised absence sessions
sess_unauthorised_percentUnauthorised absence rate
sess_x_covidNumber of sessions recorded as not attending due to COVID circumstances
sess_y_exceptionalNumber of sessions recorded as exceptional circumstances
Footnotes
  1. Sessions recorded as not attending due to COVID circumstances are included as possible sessions but not as an absence within absence rates.

03 - Enrolments with one or more sessions of absence

Filename
absence_1term_one_plus_sessions.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2006/07 Autumn Term to 2020/21 Autumn Term
Content

The number of enrolments with one or more session of absence, including by reason for absence. National, Regional and Local Authority data from 2006/07. 

School data from 2016/17. 

Primary and secondary only before 2016/17.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
enrol_auth_appointmentsNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to medical or dental appointments
enrol_auth_excludedNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to exclusion
enrol_auth_ext_holidayNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to agreed extended family holiday
enrol_auth_holidayNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to agreed family holiday
enrol_auth_illnessNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to illness
enrol_auth_otherNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to other authorised circumstances
enrol_auth_religiousNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to religious observance
enrol_auth_studyNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to study leave
enrol_auth_travellerNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to traveller absence
enrol_authorisedNumber of enrolments with at least one authorised absence session
enrol_overallNumber of enrolments with at least one overall absence session
enrol_unauth_holidayNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to family holiday not agreed
enrol_unauth_lateNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to arriving late
enrol_unauth_noyetNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to no reason yet
enrol_unauth_otherNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to other unauthorised circumstances
enrol_unauthorisedNumber of enrolments with at least one unauthorised absence session
enrol_x_covidNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to not attending due to COVID circumstances
enrol_y_exceptionalNumber of enrolments with at least one absence session due to exceptional circumstances
enrolmentsNumber of pupil enrolments
num_schoolsNumber of schools
school_typeSchool type - Filter by school type
Footnotes
  1. Total includes state-funded primary, secondary and special schools. Data for special schools is available from 2016/17 to present.
  2. Total includes state-funded primary and secondary schools. Does not include special schools. Available from 2006/07 to present (data for special schools is available from 2016/17 onwards).

04 - Absence for 4 year olds

Filename
absence_1term_4_year_olds2.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority; National; Regional
Time period
2012/13 Autumn Term to 2020/21 Autumn Term
Content

Overall absence for all enrolments in state-funded primary, secondary and special schools for pupils aged 4. 

National, Regional and Local Authority data from 2012/13. 

School data from 2016/17. Primary and secondary only before 2016/17. Collected from 2012/13.

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
enrolmentsNumber of pupil enrolments
num_schoolsNumber of schools
school_typeSchool type - Filter by school type
sess_overallNumber of overall absence sessions
sess_overall_percentOverall absence rate
sess_possibleNumber of sessions possible
Footnotes
  1. Total includes state-funded primary, secondary and special schools. Data for special schools is available from 2016/17 to present.
  2. Total includes state-funded primary and secondary schools. Does not include special schools. Available from 2006/07 to present (data for special schools is available from 2016/17 onwards).
  3. Sessions recorded as not attending due to COVID circumstances are included as possible sessions but not as an absence within absence rates.

05 - Absence as a percentage of possible sessions by percent bands

Filename
absence_1term_one_percent_bandsx.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2006/07 Autumn Term to 2020/21 Autumn Term
Content

The number of pupil enrolments by their absence in the term as a percentage of possible sessions. Covers overall absence, authorised absence and unauthorised absence. 

Data by one percent bands. 

Primary and secondary only before 2016/17. 

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
enrolments_authorisedNumber of all pupil enrolments that fall into that per cent band for authorised absence
enrolments_authorised_percentPercentage of all pupil enrolments that fall into that per cent band for authorised absence
enrolments_overallNumber of all pupil enrolments that fall into that per cent band for overall absence
enrolments_overall_percentPercentage of all pupil enrolments that fall into that per cent band for overall absence
enrolments_sess_x_covidNumber of all pupil enrolments that fall into that per cent band for non-attendance due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
enrolments_sess_x_covid_percentPercentage of all pupil enrolments that fall into that per cent band for non-attendance due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
enrolments_unauthorisedNumber of all pupil enrolments that fall into that per cent band for unauthorised absence
enrolments_unauthorised_percentPercentage of all pupil enrolments that fall into that per cent band for unauthorised absence
percent_bandsAbsence percentage band - Filter by percentage of absence
school_typeSchool type - Filter by school type
Footnotes
  1. Total includes state-funded primary, secondary and special schools. Data for special schools is available from 2016/17 to present.
  2. Total includes state-funded primary and secondary schools. Does not include special schools. Available from 2006/07 to present (data for special schools is available from 2016/17 onwards).

06 - Absence by pupil characteristics - national

Filename
absence_1term_national_characteristics2.csv
Geographic levels
National
Time period
2019/20 Autumn Term to 2020/21 Autumn Term
Content

Absence information by pupil characteristics including age, gender, year group, free school meals, special educational needs, language and ethnicity for England. 

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic - Filter by pupil characteristic
enrolmentsNumber of pupil enrolments
enrolments_pa_10_exactNumber of persistent absentees
enrolments_pa_10_exact_percentPercentage of persistent absentees
school_typeSchool type - Filter by school type
sess_auth_appointmentsNumber of medical appointments sessions
sess_auth_excludedNumber of excluded sessions
sess_auth_ext_holidayNumber of extended authorised holiday sessions
sess_auth_holidayNumber of authorised holiday sessions
sess_auth_illnessNumber of illness sessions
sess_auth_otherNumber of authorised other sessions
sess_auth_religiousNumber of religious observance sessions
sess_auth_studyNumber of study leave sessions
sess_auth_totalreasonsNumber of authorised reasons sessions
sess_auth_travellerNumber of traveller sessions
sess_authorisedNumber of authorised absence sessions
sess_authorised_pa_10_exactNumber of authorised absence sessions for persistent absentees
sess_authorised_percentAuthorised absence rate
sess_authorised_percent_pa_10_exactAuthorised absence rate exact
sess_overallNumber of overall absence sessions
sess_overall_pa_10_exactNumber of overall absence sessions for persistent absentees
sess_overall_percentOverall absence rate
sess_overall_percent_pa_10_exactOverall absence rate exact
sess_overall_totalreasonsNumber of overall reasons sessions
sess_possibleNumber of sessions possible
sess_possible_pa_10_exactNumber of sessions possible for persistent absentees
sess_unauth_holidayNumber of unauthorised holiday sessions
sess_unauth_lateNumber of late sessions
sess_unauth_noyetNumber of no reason yet sessions
sess_unauth_otherNumber of unauthorised other sessions
sess_unauth_totalreasonsNumber of unauthorised reasons sessions
sess_unauthorisedNumber of unauthorised absence sessions
sess_unauthorised_pa_10_exactNumber of unauthorised absence sessions for persistent absentees
sess_unauthorised_percentUnauthorised absence rate
sess_unauthorised_percent_pa_10_exactUnauthorised absence rate exact
sess_x_covidNumber of sessions recorded as not attending due to COVID circumstances
sess_x_covid_rateRate of sessions recorded as not attending due to COVID circumstances
sess_y_exceptionalNumber of sessions recorded as exceptional circumstances

07 - Absence by pupil characteristics - local authority

Filename
absence_1term_la_characteristics2.csv
Geographic levels
Local Authority
Time period
2019/20 Autumn Term to 2020/21 Autumn Term
Content

Absence information by pupil characteristics including age, gender, year group, free school meals, special educational needs, language and ethnicity by local authority

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
characteristicCharacteristic - Filter by pupil characteristic
enrolmentsNumber of pupil enrolments
enrolments_PA_10_exactNumber of persistent absentees
enrolments_pa_10_exact_percentPercentage of persistent absentees
school_typeSchool type - Filter by school type
sess_authorisedNumber of authorised absence sessions
sess_authorised_appointmentsNumber of medical appointments sessions
sess_authorised_excludedNumber of excluded sessions
sess_authorised_ext_holidayNumber of extended authorised holiday sessions
sess_authorised_holidayNumber of authorised holiday sessions
sess_authorised_illnessNumber of illness sessions
sess_authorised_otherNumber of authorised other sessions
sess_authorised_pa_10_exactNumber of authorised absence sessions for persistent absentees
sess_authorised_percentAuthorised absence rate
sess_authorised_percent_pa_10_exactAuthorised absence rate exact
sess_authorised_religiousNumber of religious observance sessions
sess_authorised_studyNumber of study leave sessions
sess_authorised_totalreasonsNumber of authorised reasons sessions
sess_authorised_travellerNumber of traveller sessions
sess_overallNumber of overall absence sessions
sess_overall_pa_10_exactNumber of overall absence sessions for persistent absentees
sess_overall_percentOverall absence rate
sess_overall_percent_pa_10_exactOverall absence rate exact
sess_overall_totalreasonsNumber of overall reasons sessions
sess_possibleNumber of sessions possible
sess_possible_pa_10_exactNumber of sessions possible for persistent absentees
sess_unauthorisedNumber of unauthorised absence sessions
sess_unauthorised_holidayNumber of unauthorised holiday sessions
sess_unauthorised_lateNumber of late sessions
sess_unauthorised_noyetNumber of no reason yet sessions
sess_unauthorised_otherNumber of unauthorised other sessions
sess_unauthorised_pa_10_exactNumber of unauthorised absence sessions for persistent absentees
sess_unauthorised_percentUnauthorised absence rate
sess_unauthorised_percent_pa_10_exactUnauthorised absence rate exact
sess_unauthorised_totalreasonsNumber of unauthorised reasons sessions
sess_x_covidNumber of sessions recorded as not attending due to COVID circumstances
sess_x_covid_rateRate of sessions recorded as not attending due to COVID circumstances
sess_y_exceptionalNumber of sessions recorded as exceptional circumstances