This Statistical First Release (SFR) reports on absence in primary, secondary and special schools, city technology colleges and academies during the 2008/09 school year. It updates and supplements information published in the October release - 'Pupil Absence in Schools in England, Autumn Term 2008 and Spring Term 2009'. It is based on pupil level absence data collected via the School Census. The release provides information on the levels of absence (authorised, unauthorised and overall) by type of school; absence rates by pupil characteristics (such as gender, free school meal eligibility, ethnic group and special educational needs); the percentage of pupils by number of days absence; as well as summary statistics on persistent absentees (the percentage of absence these pupils account for; their characteristics; the number of schools where the percentage of persistent absentees falls within certain ranges; and information on the reasons for absence).

The key points from the latest release are:

  • The overall absence rate has decreased slightly, going from 6.29% to 6.27%.
  • The persistent absence rate has decreased, going from 3.6% to 3.3%.


Contact details

Andrew Clarke - Schools Statistical Team
Telephone: 01325 735478