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One in five students in England were consistently absent in the last school year

HealthCOVID-19One in five students in England were consistently absent in the last school year
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one in five students England Absenteeism was reported consistently during the last school year, with the pandemic with COVID and other illnesses being the biggest contributor to the increase in classroom absenteeism rates compared to prior years.

education department statistics (DFE) showed that the aftermath of the pandemic continued to significantly affect state school attendance in the summer of 2022. The national absenteeism rate of 7.6% was well above the pre-Covid rate of 4%-5%.

Illness was responsible for nearly 60% of absences, including among students who tested positive for COVID, with the proportion of children absent due to illness double the rate seen before the pandemic. The DFE also reported an increase in unauthorized absenteeism, which increased from 1.3% in 2020-21 to 2.1% in 2021-22.

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The data shows that 22% of state school students were absent for more than 10% of sessions, approximately 19 days or more during the school year, leading them to be classified as “persistent absent” under the DfE’s definitions it was done.

While children eligible for free school meals were absent in 37% of sessions, the sharpest increase occurred among children who were not eligible, whose absence rate more than doubled over the previous two school years to 17.5%.

Unauthorized holidays played no part in the increase, despite speculation that parents have become more willing to take their children away during the time off. The data shows that unauthorized leave was only 0.4% last year, the same rate recorded between 2016 and 2020.


A DfE spokesman said the “vast majority” of children were at school and learning.

“We work closely with schools, trusts, governing bodies and local authorities to identify students who are at risk of becoming or who are persistently absent and [are] Working together to assist those children to return to regular and consistent education,” the department said.

Following concerns over high and persistent levels of absenteeism since the pandemic and school-related closures, the DfE launched a number of initiatives such as hiring dedicated attendance consultants, creating “attendance hubs” to share best practice, and pilot programs Are. As in the one in Middlesbrough, it aims to tackle the underlying causes including bullying or mental health issues by providing support to persistent and seriously absent students.

However, more recent data from the current academic year suggested that illness and unauthorized absences continue to be a problem for many schools. Headmasters have said a “cultural shift” means parents are more likely to allow children to stay at home.

statistics Compiled by Independent Research A third of 15-year-olds were found to be consistently absent from classes in the autumn term of the current school year.

Rachel de Souza, the Children’s Commissioner for England, recently claimed that schools were “seeing a higher amount of Friday absenteeism than there was before” due to parents working from home.

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