The latest data relates to the week commencing 06 March 2023 and is available in the pupil attendance dashboard. Data is collected on a daily basis and data for the interim weeks between publications is included in year-to-date figures and is available on a daily and weekly basis in the underlying data available on this page (see “Explore data and files”).
The dashboard displays attendance and absence headline figures, and reasons for absence at national, regional and local authority geographic levels. Data is available across primary, secondary and special schools and can be broken down by individual school type.
The data shows that the attendance rate across the week for all schools was 92.2%, giving an overall absence rate of 7.8%. The attendance rate varied across the week with a peak of 93.3% on Tuesday, before a decline to 89.9% on Friday. The decrease in attendance on a Friday is in line with weekly patterns in historical data.
By school type, the attendance rate across the week was:
- 93.6% in state-funded primary schools
- 90.7% in state-funded secondary schools
- 85.9% in state-funded special schools
Absence rate increase towards the end of the Autumn term was driven by illness, which during week commencing 12 December 2022 was 9.1%, up from 2.6% at the start of the term. In the week commencing 06 March 2023, illness absence was 4.0%, slightly increased from the first week of the Spring term (week commencing 2 January 2023) when it was 3.2%. Increase in illness absence at the end of the Autumn term was in line with increases in rates of seasonal flu and other seasonal respiratory illnesses.
Overall absence has increased the most in special schools (from 10.8% at the start of the Autumn term to 14.1% in the most recent week) followed by secondary schools (from 6.4% to 9.3%). Absence in primary schools has risen from 4.4% to 6.4%.
Authorised absence across the week was 5.2% and by school type this was:
- 4.7% in state-funded primary schools
- 5.6% in state-funded secondary schools
- 10.6% in state-funded special schools
Unauthorised absence across the week was 2.6% and by school type this was:
- 1.7% in state-funded primary schools
- 3.7% in state-funded secondary schools
- 3.5% in state-funded special schools
Users should be aware of the following:
- Response rate - 80% of schools have opted-in to submitting data (though note that this has varied across the year), therefore national figures are estimates. Across school types this was: 82% of state-funded primary schools, 73% of state-funded secondary schools and 70% of state-funded special schools.
- Estimates for non-response - In recognition that response rates are not equal across school types and, therefore, not representative of the total school population, the total rates for all schools has been weighted based on the Spring 2022 school census.
- Reporting lag - Schools update their registers continually and attendance codes change, resulting in absence rates for a particular day to decrease over time. 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.