When a pupil is not allowed to attend (or is excluded from) a school and cannot go back to that specific school unless their exclusion is overturned.
When a pupil misses (or is absent from) 10% or more possible school sessions.
Counted in sessions, where 1 session is equivalent to half-a-day.
This definition changed at the start of the 2015/16 academic year.
For further information on this change read our Pupil absence statistics: methodology guidance.
Possible school session
Schools are required to provide 2 possible sessions per day - 1 session in the morning and 1 in the afternoon.
This is why a session is equivalent to half-a-day.
A way to refer to a 'pupil' at a school. The number of pupil enrolments presented includes pupils on the school roll for at least 1 session who are aged between 5 and 15 years, excluding boarders.
Some pupils may be counted more than once. For example, if they moved schools during the academic year or are registered in more than 1 school.
Pupil referral unit (PRUs)
An alternative education provision specifically organised to provide education for children who are not able to attend school and may not otherwise receive a suitable education.
This could be because they have a short- or long-term illness, have been excluded from school or are a new starter waiting for a mainstream school place.
Under section 19 of the Education Act 1996, each local education authority (LEA) has a duty to provide suitable education for children of compulsory school age who cannot attend school.
Placing pupils in PRUs is one of the ways in which LEAs can make sure they can comply with this duty.
PRUs are a mixture of public units and privately managed companies.
Pupils with one or more fixed-period exclusion
Pupil who have had at least one fixed-period exclusion across a full academic year.