Bristol School Absence City Fails To Get To Grips With School Absences

Bristol School Absence: Bristol City Council Absence Rates Continue to be Above the England National Average

The latest statistics and data concerning school absence for the academic year 2018/19 has been released by the Department for Education (DfE).

Overall absence across England for pupils aged 5-15 in state-funded primary, state-funded secondary and special schools in England has dropped.

During 2017/18, authorised absence was at 3.5 per cent, which reduced to 3.3 per cent last year.

The rate for unauthorised absence is the same as the previous year at 1.4 per cent, but it remains at the highest rate since data became available in 2006/07.

The rate of persistent absentees also reduced from 11.2 per cent in 17/18 to 10.9 per cent. Persistent absence is measured by a pupil missing 10 per cent of more of all possible sessions.

Illness is the main reason for authorised illness, the DfE says, as it accounted for 52.6 per cent of all absence last year. The rate of authorised holiday absence has remained at 0.1 per cent for two academic years running, though rates of unauthorised holiday absence has increased gradually from 0.1 per cent in 2006/07 to 0.4 per cent in 2016/17 where it remains now.

When it came to pupils with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) the overall absence rate was 8.7 per cent with a persistence absence of 24.6 per cent – more than two times higher than those pupils with no identified Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (Send) at 09 per cent.

Pupils on Send support had an absence rate of 6.5 per cent compared to the 4.3 per cent of pupils with no identified Send.

Bristol Statistics compared to the National Average

School absence in Bristol has been an on going issue, one the council has failed to get to grips with. Statistics for last academic year shows

In state funded primary schools






In state funded secondary schools





In state funded special schools






All absence for state funded primary, secondary and special schools





The absence rate for primary, secondary and special schools is higher than the England national average. A staggeringly high persistent absence rate in special schools of 42 per cent compared to the England average of  28.8 per cent shows that Bristol is failing to tackle problems facing pupils with Send in the city.

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