Academic Year 2022/23

Pupil attendance in schools

This is the latest dataManagement information
Published
Last updated
See all updates (1) for Academic Year 2022/23
  1. Links added to how schools can share daily attendance data and access attendance reports

Introduction

These figures are derived from regular data automatically submitted to the Department for Education (DfE) by participating schools. The data is submitted on a daily basis and includes the attendance codes for each pupil on their registers during the morning and afternoon sessions.

The figures are published as national level management information to give an indicative figure for the absence rate at the start of the 2022/23 academic year. New reports will be published on a fortnightly basis from 29 September 2022 providing aggregate metrics on overall absence and reasons for absence estimated at national, regional and local authority level only. These are intended to continue the series that was previously sourced from the daily Educational Settings Survey (EdSet). Due to the timeliness of the data and that they are based on a subset of schools, the figures are estimates that we expect to change as registers are adjusted. They should be viewed as an early indicator for the more detailed but less regular National Statistics on pupil absence (which will include school level breakdowns). 

The figures relate to the attendance of 5 to 15 year old (i.e. compulsory school age) pupils in state-funded primary, secondary and special schools in England.

65% of state-funded primary, secondary and special schools have opted in to submitting data. On 6 September 2022, on which these figures are based, DfE received data from 61% of all schools. The lower response rate reflects how some schools operate inset days on their first days back and so may not have turned on their school registers. The response rate for schools whose first day back was expected to be Thursday 1 September was 64% and 56% for those expected to be back on Monday 5 September. 

Users should be aware of the following:

  • Response rate - 65% of schools have opted-in to submitting data, therefore national figures are estimates. Further, as above, data has not been received from all schools that have opted in to submitting the data in this first week. This reflects how some schools operate inset days on their first days back and so may not have turned on their school registers.
  • Inset days and phased returns - Schools may run inset days on the first days back of a new term. Additionally, some may use phased returns, particularly in secondary school, which see individual year groups return a day ahead of others. The data allows us to infer when schools are operating this way and the figures only consider pupils who were expected to attend on the day. The data suggests that 942 schools (7%) were still operating inset days, 263 schools (2%) phased returns and 339 (3%) half days. The figures only consider pupils who were expected to attend on the day.
  • Reporting lag - Schools update their registers continually and attendance codes change, resulting in absence rates for a particular day to decrease over time. We expect, therefore, figures to change between now and the reports due to be published from 29 September. Analysis of data from the Summer 2022 term suggests that this could be a decrease in the absence rate of around 1 percentage point before settling down. Historical figures will be recalculated in each publication.

Overall absence rates are provided broken down by state-funded primary, secondary and special schools. An overall absence figure is also provided across all schools. In recognition that response rates are not equal across school types and, therefore, not representative of the total school population, the overall absence figure for all schools has been weighted based on the Spring 2022 school census. Response rates for state-funded primary, secondary and special schools were 62%, 58% and 47% respectively.

For further information see the ‘Methodology’ section.

If you are a school that has not yet signed up to share your data, please visit Share your daily school attendance data for more information. This will also give you, your local authority and your multi-academy trust (if applicable) access to daily attendance reports to help identify pupils needing attendance support earlier.


Headline facts and figures - 2022/23

Attendance of pupils expected to be back in state-funded primary, secondary and schools on Tuesday 6 September was 95%. Across schools types this was:

  • 95% in state-funded primary schools
  • 94% in state-funded secondary schools
  • 89% in state-funded special schools

Users should be aware of the following:

  • Response rate - 65% of schools have opted-in to submitting data, therefore national figures are estimates. On 6 September 2022, on which these figures are based, DfE received data from 61% of all schools. The lower response rate reflects how some schools operate inset days on their first days back and so may not have turned on their school registers. The response rate for schools whose first day back was expected to be Thursday 1 September was 64% and 56% for those expected to be back on Monday 5 September. In recognition that response rates are not equal across school types and, therefore, not representative of the total school population, the overall absence figure for all schools has been weighted based on the Spring 2022 school census. Response rates for state-funded primary, secondary and special schools were 62%, 58% and 47% respectively.
  • Inset days and phased returns - Schools may run inset days on the first days back of a new term. Additionally, some may use phased returns, particularly in secondary school, which see individual year groups return a day ahead of others. The data allows us to infer when schools are operating this way and the figures only consider pupils who were expected to attend on the day. The data suggests that 942 schools (7%) were still operating inset days, 263 schools (2%) phased returns and 339 (3%) half days. 
  • Reporting lag - Schools update their registers continually and attendance codes change, resulting in absence rates for a particular day to decrease over time. Figures are expected to change, therefore, between now and the reports due to be published from 29 September. Analysis of data from the Summer 2022 term suggests that this could be a decrease in the absence rate of around 1 percentage point before settling down. Historical figures will be recalculated in each publication.

If you are a school that has not yet signed up to share your data, please visit Share your daily school attendance data for more information. This will also give you, your local authority and your multi-academy trust (if applicable) access to daily attendance reports to help identify pupils needing attendance support earlier.

Explore data and files

All data used in this release is available as open data for download


Open data

Browse and download individual open data files from this release in our data catalogue


Guidance

Learn more about the data files used in this release using our online guidance


Create your own tables

You can view featured tables that we have built for you, or create your own tables from the open data using our table tool


Help and support

Methodology

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

Management information

Management information describes aggregate information collated and used in the normal course of business to inform operational delivery, policy development or the management of organisational performance. It is usually based on administrative data but can also be a product of survey data. The terms administrative data and management information are sometimes used interchangeably.

Contact us

Ask questions and provide feedback

If you have a specific enquiry about Pupil attendance in schools statistics and data:

School Census Statistics Team

Email
schools.statistics@education.gov.uk

Telephone: School Census Statistics Team
0370 000 2288

Press office

If you have a media enquiry:

Telephone
020 7783 8300

Public enquiries

If you have a general enquiry about the Department for Education (DfE) or education:

Telephone
037 0000 2288