Absence from school

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2017/18, there were 8.1 million pupils at state-funded primary, secondary or special schools in England – of those, 67% were White British, 11% were Asian, 6% were Black, 6% were from the Other White ethnic group, 6% had Mixed ethnicity, and 0.4% were from the Chinese ethnic group
  • in 2017/18, the overall absence rate (school sessions missed due to authorised and unauthorised absence) was 4.8%
  • 11.2% of pupils missed 10% or more of their school sessions (classed as ‘persistent absence’)
  • pupils from the Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma ethnic groups had the highest rates of overall absence and persistent absence
  • pupils from the Chinese and Black African ethnic groups had the lowest rates of overall absence and persistent absence
Things you need to know

Data is based on pupil enrolments rather than individual pupils.

Some pupils may be counted more than once within the total enrolment figure, for example if they:

  • moved schools during the academic year
  • are registered in more than one school

Some of the statistics quoted here are based on very small numbers of pupils and can change a lot from year to year. For example, only 155 Traveller of Irish Heritage pupils went to a special school in January 2018.

It is a school’s responsibility to record absence data in their school census return. It is the parent’s responsibility to report the reason for a child’s absence from school.

Absence rates for each ethnic group vary across local authorities. Please use caution when comparing local authorities, as some have small numbers of pupil enrolments. Download the data for the total number of pupil enrolments in each local authority.

What the data measures

This data shows absence rates from state-funded primary, secondary and special schools in England.

‘Overall absence’ includes both authorised and unauthorised absences from school.

The overall absence rate is the total number of absences, as a percentage of the total number of possible sessions at school. There are usually 2 school sessions a day, in the morning and afternoon.

A pupil is ‘persistently absent’ if they miss 10% or more of their possible sessions at school.

The persistent absence rate is the total number of pupil enrolments who were persistently absent, as a percentage of all pupil enrolments.

The data covers the academic year from September 2017 to July 2018.

The ethnic categories used in this data

This data uses categories from the Department for Education’s school census. These groupings are broadly based on the 2001 national Census, with 3 exceptions:

  • Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma children have been separated into 2 categories
  • Sri Lankan is included in the Asian/Asian British group but is not reported separately
  • Chinese pupils have been assigned a separate category from Asian

These changes were made after consultations with local authorities and lobby groups.

Data is reported for 6 broad and 16 specific ethnic groups. These are:

Asian/Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Other Asian background

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • Black African
  • Black Caribbean
  • Black Other

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Other Mixed background

White:

  • White British
  • White Irish
  • Traveller of Irish Heritage
  • Gypsy/Roma
  • Other White

Chinese

Other ethnic group

The 6 broad categories are:

  • Asian/Asian British
  • Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
  • Chinese
  • Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
  • White
  • Other

2. Overall absence by ethnicity

Overall absence rate and number of sessions missed, by ethnicity
Ethnicity % Sessions
All 4.8 118,236,069
Asian 4.5 11,734,046
Bangladeshi 4.8 2,001,126
Indian 3.7 2,633,874
Pakistani 5.1 5,415,862
Asian other 3.9 1,683,184
Black 3.5 4,820,607
Black African 3.0 2,722,717
Black Caribbean 5.0 1,390,378
Black other 3.8 707,512
Chinese 2.5 255,554
Mixed 5.1 7,150,280
Mixed White/Asian 4.5 1,507,696
Mixed White/Black African 4.6 874,564
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 6.1 2,296,452
Mixed other 4.8 2,471,568
White 4.9 90,535,960
White British 4.9 81,211,185
White Irish 5.7 389,824
Gypsy/Roma 13.0 1,063,451
Irish Traveller 18.8 330,497
White other 4.9 7,541,003
Other 4.4 1,986,871

Download table data for ‘Overall absence by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Overall absence by ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary

The data shows that:

  • in 2017/18, the overall absence rate (school sessions missed due to authorised and unauthorised absence) was 4.8%
  • pupils from the Chinese ethnic group had the lowest overall absence rate, missing 2.5% of their total school sessions
  • the ethnic groups with the highest overall absence rates were Traveller of Irish Heritage (18.8% of all sessions missed) and Gypsy/Roma (13.0%)
  • White British pupils missed 4.9% of their total school sessions

3. Overall absence by ethnicity and area

Overall absence rate, by ethnicity and local authority
Local authority Asian Black Chinese Mixed White Other
% % % % % %
Barking and Dagenham 4.4 2.7 2.1 5.1 5.8 4.6
Barnet 4.0 3.9 2.3 4.8 4.4 4.3
Barnsley 4.5 2.8 1.7 4.9 5.4 4.3
Bath and North East Somerset 4.7 6.2 2.8 5.7 5.0 5.9
Bedford 5.1 3.2 2.5 5.3 4.6 4.5
Bexley 3.6 2.3 2.2 4.6 5.2 4.4
Birmingham 5.0 4.0 2.4 5.8 5.6 4.3
Blackburn with Darwen 4.2 2.7 2.0 5.1 5.5 5.3
Blackpool 4.2 4.4 2.2 5.1 5.0 4.5
Bolton 4.2 2.7 3.0 5.5 5.4 6.3
Bournemouth 4.1 3.1 3.0 5.3 5.1 4.0
Bracknell Forest 3.6 2.5 2.9 4.6 4.4 3.9
Bradford 4.7 3.1 2.2 6.1 5.6 4.4
Brent 3.9 4.4 2.2 5.0 4.8 4.7
Brighton and Hove 4.8 4.5 2.9 5.2 5.1 5.3
Bristol City of 5.5 4.7 2.8 6.0 5.4 5.4
Bromley 3.9 3.3 2.7 4.6 4.6 4.1
Buckinghamshire 5.2 3.8 2.9 5.2 4.6 4.8
Bury 5.3 2.9 2.5 5.1 4.9 4.6
Calderdale 4.5 2.8 2.6 5.0 4.4 3.6
Cambridgeshire 4.4 3.5 2.8 4.5 4.6 4.5
Camden 5.4 4.2 2.5 5.3 5.2 4.6
Central Bedfordshire 4.7 3.4 2.5 4.9 4.9 5.6
Cheshire East 4.6 4.4 2.4 4.7 4.6 4.9
Cheshire West and Chester 4.8 3.7 2.8 5.0 4.9 4.0
City of London 3.6 3.2 7.5 3.6 2.8 1.9
Cornwall 5.9 5.1 3.4 5.5 5.1 6.4
Coventry 4.1 2.7 2.6 5.8 5.4 5.0
Croydon 4.5 3.8 2.3 5.2 5.2 4.6
Cumbria 4.1 3.3 3.1 4.5 4.9 5.9
Darlington 4.6 3.1 1.9 5.1 5.2 5.2
Derby 4.3 3.1 2.6 5.9 5.3 4.6
Derbyshire 4.3 3.9 2.1 5.1 4.6 4.9
Devon 3.9 3.3 3.5 5.1 4.8 4.5
Doncaster 4.6 2.9 2.2 5.4 5.6 5.3
Dorset 4.0 3.6 3.3 4.9 5.1 5.1
Dudley 4.8 3.6 2.2 5.9 5.0 4.8
Durham 4.0 3.8 2.0 4.2 4.9 4.9
Ealing 4.2 4.1 2.6 4.9 4.6 4.2
East Riding of Yorkshire 4.7 3.8 3.9 4.6 4.6 4.0
East Sussex 4.0 4.2 2.3 5.5 5.3 4.6
Enfield 4.6 3.8 2.2 5.0 5.4 4.6
Essex 4.0 2.8 2.5 4.8 4.8 3.7
Gateshead 4.5 2.2 2.1 4.0 4.7 4.0
Gloucestershire 4.0 3.5 4.1 5.3 4.8 4.8
Greenwich 4.0 3.0 2.4 5.0 5.7 3.8
Hackney 4.6 3.6 2.0 5.0 4.7 4.1
Halton 4.0 4.0 2.3 5.0 5.3 4.3
Hammersmith and Fulham 4.6 4.7 3.5 5.3 5.1 5.0
Hampshire 3.7 2.7 3.2 4.3 4.6 3.8
Haringey 4.9 4.1 1.8 5.0 4.7 4.5
Harrow 3.7 4.5 2.2 4.7 4.7 4.7
Hartlepool 4.3 2.7 2.1 4.4 5.8 4.8
Havering 4.1 2.9 2.1 4.9 5.1 4.2
Herefordshire 4.6 4.0 5.4 4.6 4.9 4.3
Hertfordshire 4.4 3.3 2.8 5.0 4.8 4.5
Hillingdon 4.0 4.1 2.9 4.7 5.9 3.8
Hounslow 4.1 3.7 2.7 5.0 5.1 4.1
Isle of Wight 3.9 3.6 2.8 4.6 5.0 5.6
Isles Of Scilly NA NA NA 2.0 4.7 NA
Islington 4.9 4.1 2.3 5.2 5.5 4.4
Kensington and Chelsea 4.7 4.2 3.8 5.4 4.9 4.5
Kent 3.6 2.6 2.6 4.5 5.1 4.1
Kingston upon Hull City of 4.2 2.4 1.7 4.2 5.1 4.2
Kingston upon Thames 4.1 4.2 2.7 4.6 4.3 3.9
Kirklees 4.8 3.9 2.1 5.8 4.6 5.1
Knowsley 3.2 3.1 2.7 6.0 5.8 5.8
Lambeth 4.8 4.4 2.5 5.3 4.5 5.0
Lancashire 4.7 3.2 2.4 4.9 4.5 5.2
Leeds 4.6 2.7 2.1 5.4 5.0 4.2
Leicester 4.2 3.8 2.1 6.3 6.3 5.0
Leicestershire 4.1 3.1 2.7 4.9 4.7 4.7
Lewisham 4.2 3.6 2.2 5.1 4.9 4.1
Lincolnshire 4.1 2.8 2.2 4.6 4.9 4.2
Liverpool 3.8 3.2 2.2 5.4 5.7 4.3
Luton 5.1 3.7 2.5 5.4 5.6 5.0
Manchester 4.4 2.7 1.9 5.4 5.7 4.0
Medway 3.9 2.5 2.3 4.7 4.9 3.9
Merton 4.0 3.5 2.6 4.7 4.5 3.9
Middlesbrough 4.2 2.7 2.6 5.9 6.0 4.7
Milton Keynes 4.6 3.0 2.8 5.0 5.1 4.5
Newcastle upon Tyne 4.5 2.4 2.4 4.4 5.7 4.3
Newham 4.4 3.4 1.9 5.2 5.6 4.1
Norfolk 4.2 3.2 2.3 5.2 5.1 4.6
North East Lincolnshire 5.3 3.6 2.0 4.8 4.9 4.3
North Lincolnshire 5.1 4.3 3.0 4.7 4.8 5.2
North Somerset 4.5 4.3 3.6 5.1 4.8 4.0
North Tyneside 4.5 2.8 3.2 4.3 4.8 4.3
North Yorkshire 4.2 3.7 3.3 4.6 4.9 4.2
Northamptonshire 4.2 3.0 2.4 5.0 4.9 4.3
Northumberland 4.6 3.1 3.0 4.9 4.9 5.3
Nottingham 4.3 3.1 1.8 5.4 5.3 4.5
Nottinghamshire 3.9 2.9 2.5 4.6 4.5 4.3
Oldham 4.8 2.6 2.0 5.5 5.2 6.8
Oxfordshire 5.0 3.7 3.2 5.3 4.9 4.1
Peterborough 4.6 2.9 2.2 4.8 5.0 4.2
Plymouth 4.9 3.1 3.1 5.0 5.2 4.3
Poole 4.3 3.3 1.6 4.8 4.7 3.8
Portsmouth 4.4 2.4 2.7 5.1 5.7 4.2
Reading 4.5 3.2 3.1 5.7 5.3 4.8
Redbridge 4.6 3.8 3.0 4.9 4.9 4.1
Redcar and Cleveland 4.2 2.4 3.8 4.4 5.6 4.4
Richmond upon Thames 4.1 3.8 2.9 4.2 4.0 4.3
Rochdale 4.6 2.4 2.5 5.1 5.3 4.6
Rotherham 4.5 2.7 1.6 5.7 5.2 4.4
Rutland 2.7 2.7 1.9 3.2 3.5 3.7
Salford 4.3 2.2 2.4 3.9 5.4 4.2
Sandwell 4.1 3.6 2.3 5.3 5.3 4.4
Sefton 3.6 2.8 2.6 5.0 5.0 4.4
Sheffield 4.8 3.4 2.2 5.9 5.4 5.0
Shropshire 4.4 4.0 2.8 5.3 4.8 5.2
Slough 4.4 3.3 2.2 4.7 5.3 4.2
Solihull 4.5 3.6 2.6 5.6 4.9 4.3
Somerset 4.2 3.4 4.1 5.4 5.1 5.3
South Gloucestershire 4.4 3.7 2.2 5.2 4.8 5.6
South Tyneside 4.3 2.8 2.9 4.5 4.9 4.6
Southampton 4.2 2.9 2.7 5.3 5.2 4.2
Southend-on-Sea 4.3 2.7 2.3 4.4 4.6 4.4
Southwark 4.9 3.4 2.7 5.2 5.2 4.4
St. Helens 3.6 2.8 2.0 4.4 4.9 3.9
Staffordshire 4.6 4.2 2.4 5.4 4.8 4.7
Stockport 5.2 3.5 2.5 5.2 5.0 5.0
Stockton-on-Tees 4.5 2.1 2.9 5.2 5.2 3.7
Stoke-on-Trent 4.7 2.8 1.6 5.6 5.4 5.4
Suffolk 4.5 3.7 2.0 4.8 4.9 4.1
Sunderland 4.1 2.7 2.7 5.8 5.3 4.9
Surrey 4.4 3.3 2.8 4.2 4.5 4.1
Sutton 3.9 3.1 2.6 4.5 4.9 4.0
Swindon 4.5 2.9 2.7 5.3 4.9 4.3
Tameside 4.4 2.6 1.8 4.8 4.9 4.4
Telford and Wrekin 4.4 2.5 2.4 5.1 4.9 4.1
Thurrock 4.0 2.3 2.3 4.3 5.1 3.7
Torbay 4.2 3.8 2.6 4.9 5.1 5.0
Tower Hamlets 4.3 3.3 2.2 5.4 5.9 3.8
Trafford 4.7 3.2 2.5 4.6 4.1 4.2
Wakefield 5.2 2.8 2.5 5.5 5.6 4.7
Walsall 4.2 3.1 2.2 5.6 5.4 4.6
Waltham Forest 5.2 4.2 1.8 5.3 5.2 4.5
Wandsworth 4.5 4.3 2.9 5.2 4.3 4.6
Warrington 4.5 3.0 3.1 4.9 4.6 5.0
Warwickshire 3.7 3.4 2.7 4.8 4.8 4.5
West Berkshire 5.0 3.6 3.3 4.7 4.3 4.6
West Sussex 4.6 3.5 2.5 4.7 4.8 4.5
Westminster 4.9 4.1 2.3 5.2 4.9 4.8
Wigan 4.7 2.9 2.8 4.6 4.9 5.3
Wiltshire 3.7 3.8 3.2 5.2 4.9 4.6
Windsor and Maidenhead 4.5 4.0 2.6 4.0 4.5 4.5
Wirral 4.5 3.9 2.5 5.3 5.2 4.5
Wokingham 4.5 3.2 2.4 4.5 4.2 5.5
Wolverhampton 3.7 3.4 2.3 5.4 5.1 5.4
Worcestershire 4.7 3.5 2.8 5.0 4.8 4.8
York 4.4 3.5 3.1 4.7 4.7 4.7

Download table data for ‘Overall absence by ethnicity and area’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Overall absence by ethnicity and area’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2017/18, out of all local authorities where data was available, the overall absence rate among Asian pupils was highest in Cornwall (at 5.9%)
  • the overall absence rate for Black pupils was highest in Bath and North East Somerset (at 6.2%)
  • among pupils from the Chinese ethnic group, the overall absence rate was highest in the City of London (at 7.5%)
  • the overall absence rate for pupils with Mixed ethnicity was highest in Leicester (at 6.3%)
  • among White pupils, the overall absence rate was highest in Leicester (at 6.3%)

4. Overall absence by ethnicity and type of school

Overall absence rate and number of sessions missed, by ethnicity and type of school
Special State-funded primary State-funded secondary Total
Ethnicity % Sessions % Sessions % Sessions % Sessions
Asian 11.0 369,344 4.3 6,496,248 4.5 4,868,454 4.5 11,734,046
Bangladeshi 11.2 65,624 4.7 1,101,926 4.7 833,576 4.8 2,001,126
Indian 8.7 53,911 3.6 1,522,191 3.7 1,057,772 3.7 2,633,874
Pakistani 12.1 191,564 4.8 2,922,145 5.3 2,302,153 5.1 5,415,862
Asian other 10.0 58,245 3.7 949,986 3.9 674,953 3.9 1,683,184
Black 7.8 189,006 3.1 2,458,609 3.8 2,172,992 3.5 4,820,607
Black African 7.2 109,493 2.7 1,444,381 3.2 1,168,843 3.0 2,722,717
Black Caribbean 9.5 48,357 4.4 636,188 5.4 705,833 5.0 1,390,378
Black other 8.2 31,156 3.5 378,040 4.1 298,316 3.8 707,512
Chinese 6.6 7,440 2.5 164,576 2.3 83,538 2.5 255,554
Mixed 10.8 223,678 4.5 3,830,296 5.9 3,096,306 5.1 7,150,280
Mixed White/Asian 9.9 35,937 4.0 822,366 5.2 649,393 4.5 1,507,696
Mixed White/Black African 9.6 27,092 4.0 483,521 5.4 363,951 4.6 874,564
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 12.1 77,933 5.2 1,159,535 7.2 1,058,984 6.1 2,296,452
Mixed other 10.6 82,716 4.4 1,364,874 5.4 1,023,978 4.8 2,471,568
White 10.3 2,608,077 4.2 44,297,246 5.8 43,630,637 4.9 90,535,960
White British 10.1 2,419,897 4.1 38,710,981 5.8 40,080,307 4.9 81,211,185
White Irish 12.9 11,445 5.1 187,641 6.2 190,738 5.7 389,824
Gypsy/Roma 22.2 28,419 12.1 646,722 14.6 388,310 13.0 1,063,451
Irish Traveller 28.9 12,434 18.8 252,169 17.4 65,894 18.8 330,497
White other 10.4 135,882 4.6 4,499,733 5.4 2,905,388 4.9 7,541,003
Other 10.5 58,431 4.2 1,114,716 4.7 813,724 4.4 1,986,871

Download table data for ‘Overall absence by ethnicity and type of school’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Overall absence by ethnicity and type of school’ (CSV)

Summary

The data shows that:

  • in every ethnic group except Chinese and Traveller of Irish Heritage, the overall absence rate was highest in special schools and lowest in primary schools

5. Persistent absence by ethnicity

Persistent absence rate and number of pupil enrolments, by ethnicity
Ethnicity % Pupil enrolments
All 11.2 783,424
Asian 9.3 69,515
Bangladeshi 10.2 12,085
Indian 6.1 12,395
Pakistani 12.0 36,134
Asian other 7.1 8,901
Black 7.3 29,161
Black African 5.1 13,667
Black Caribbean 13.3 10,747
Black other 8.8 4,747
Chinese 3.0 871
Mixed 12.8 51,451
Mixed White/Asian 10.1 9,495
Mixed White/Black African 11.0 6,009
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 17.5 18,872
Mixed other 11.7 17,075
White 11.6 602,393
White British 11.3 532,445
White Irish 14.8 2,889
Gypsy/Roma 48.5 12,589
Irish Traveller 65.2 3,791
White other 11.4 50,679
Other 9.6 12,687

Download table data for ‘Persistent absence by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Persistent absence by ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2017/18, 11.2% of pupils missed 10% or more of their school sessions – this is defined as ‘persistent absence’
  • 3.0% of pupils from the Chinese ethnic group were persistently absent, the lowest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • 65.2% of Traveller of Irish Heritage pupils were persistently absent, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
  • 11.3% of White British pupils were persistently absent

6. Persistent absence by ethnicity and area

Percentage of pupil enrolments classed as persistently absent, by ethnicity and local authority
Local Authority Asian Black Chinese Mixed White Other
% % % % % %
Barking and Dagenham 8.6 4.4 withheld to protect confidentiality 13.8 15.8 10.9
Barnet 6.8 8.3 2.1 10.4 8.4 7.7
Barnsley 10.3 5.9 NA 12.1 13.3 10.7
Bath and North East Somerset 13.3 17.3 NA 14.7 11.3 16.1
Bedford 11.7 7.5 5.1 14.4 10.6 10.7
Bexley 5.6 3.0 1.8 11.0 12.8 7.9
Birmingham 11.6 9.4 3.7 16.7 15.2 9.5
Blackburn with Darwen 8.7 6.7 5.2 13.5 14.7 15.8
Blackpool 8.2 11.9 4.5 12.8 12.5 11.1
Bolton 8.3 5.0 4.3 15.7 14.4 16.6
Bournemouth 9.0 5.1 4.8 12.0 11.8 9.9
Bracknell Forest 6.1 4.1 withheld to protect confidentiality 9.4 8.9 8.2
Bradford 11.0 7.6 withheld to protect confidentiality 17.8 15.3 10.8
Brent 7.2 10.3 withheld to protect confidentiality 12.1 11.9 11.1
Brighton and Hove 10.1 9.8 4.4 12.6 11.8 12.8
Bristol City of 14.3 11.8 3.7 16.8 13.5 13.5
Bromley 7.4 6.4 3.7 10.5 9.7 7.7
Buckinghamshire 12.1 8.1 2.7 13.6 10.2 12.8
Bury 12.1 6.5 withheld to protect confidentiality 13.2 11.8 11.4
Calderdale 10.0 3.8 withheld to protect confidentiality 13.5 9.8 6.9
Cambridgeshire 10.2 6.1 1.9 9.7 9.6 10.7
Camden 13.4 9.0 2.9 15.1 12.5 9.7
Central Bedfordshire 10.3 5.8 2.7 11.4 10.6 14.0
Cheshire East 9.9 11.5 withheld to protect confidentiality 12.6 9.9 11.8
Cheshire West and Chester 12.7 8.8 2.1 13.2 11.5 4.7
City of London withheld to protect confidentiality NA withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality NA
Cornwall 18.2 15.3 8.7 14.0 12.2 19.0
Coventry 8.0 4.7 3.2 16.4 14.0 13.5
Croydon 8.9 8.5 1.6 13.3 12.5 9.5
Cumbria 8.9 8.0 4.6 10.3 10.9 18.0
Darlington 12.5 5.1 NA 13.1 13.4 8.0
Derby 8.1 6.4 3.0 16.7 14.0 10.0
Derbyshire 9.7 8.2 2.3 12.1 10.2 12.2
Devon 6.9 6.2 7.4 12.7 10.1 9.1
Doncaster 10.1 5.8 3.8 13.8 14.6 15.4
Dorset 7.7 8.2 6.1 11.7 11.0 9.8
Dudley 10.6 8.9 withheld to protect confidentiality 17.4 12.2 11.5
Durham 8.5 10.9 1.8 10.9 11.4 14.7
Ealing 8.4 8.1 2.9 11.9 10.5 7.6
East Riding of Yorkshire 9.5 10.9 12.0 10.7 10.6 7.0
East Sussex 7.8 10.7 3.1 14.0 12.4 10.4
Enfield 9.6 8.7 1.7 13.0 13.9 10.0
Essex 7.1 5.0 3.0 11.2 10.7 6.4
Gateshead 9.9 4.0 2.3 9.0 11.2 9.3
Gloucestershire 6.6 6.8 8.3 13.4 10.9 12.7
Greenwich 7.2 5.3 2.4 13.1 15.6 7.3
Hackney 9.7 8.0 withheld to protect confidentiality 12.6 10.9 7.7
Halton 11.1 withheld to protect confidentiality NA 11.8 13.4 11.8
Hammersmith and Fulham 11.3 11.1 4.5 13.5 11.9 12.5
Hampshire 7.1 4.7 4.4 9.2 9.8 5.5
Haringey 9.6 9.2 1.6 12.5 10.7 9.6
Harrow 5.8 10.9 2.0 11.7 9.9 10.0
Hartlepool 6.4 6.1 NA 9.3 15.2 7.4
Havering 8.1 6.5 1.6 12.5 12.2 11.9
Herefordshire 5.3 10.5 withheld to protect confidentiality 9.6 10.9 6.0
Hertfordshire 8.6 6.3 4.0 11.7 10.6 8.2
Hillingdon 7.2 8.2 5.6 11.3 15.4 6.7
Hounslow 7.3 6.8 2.2 13.0 12.3 7.4
Isle of Wight 9.5 withheld to protect confidentiality NA 11.6 12.5 12.8
Isles Of Scilly NA NA NA NA 7.2 NA
Islington 11.2 8.6 withheld to protect confidentiality 14.2 14.8 9.1
Kensington and Chelsea 8.0 8.5 7.5 13.0 11.1 9.8
Kent 6.2 4.4 3.4 10.3 12.4 7.9
Kingston upon Hull City of 8.3 3.8 NA 9.3 13.2 7.6
Kingston upon Thames 6.4 8.8 2.8 10.6 8.2 6.2
Kirklees 11.0 9.2 4.0 15.3 10.4 13.6
Knowsley 6.7 4.5 withheld to protect confidentiality 17.5 16.2 15.7
Lambeth 10.8 10.7 1.6 13.2 9.7 12.2
Lancashire 11.1 5.5 2.0 11.6 10.1 13.9
Leeds 9.9 4.7 2.5 13.7 12.2 8.9
Leicester 8.3 7.5 2.2 16.7 17.9 12.6
Leicestershire 6.8 4.7 4.1 11.3 10.3 9.0
Lewisham 7.5 7.7 1.7 13.0 11.4 9.0
Lincolnshire 7.1 5.0 3.3 10.5 11.5 10.1
Liverpool 7.1 6.6 2.8 14.7 15.3 9.3
Luton 11.2 7.7 4.6 13.5 14.5 12.9
Manchester 9.1 5.0 1.8 14.1 14.9 9.1
Medway 6.6 3.7 2.8 11.4 11.9 7.8
Merton 6.6 6.6 withheld to protect confidentiality 10.0 9.8 7.1
Middlesbrough 8.4 4.3 withheld to protect confidentiality 18.6 16.6 11.0
Milton Keynes 10.0 5.1 2.1 12.4 13.0 9.7
Newcastle upon Tyne 10.0 4.2 3.3 10.1 14.8 10.7
Newham 8.6 6.7 2.1 14.2 16.2 8.7
Norfolk 10.2 6.6 3.2 12.9 12.0 10.9
North East Lincolnshire 10.7 6.5 NA 12.4 12.0 9.1
North Lincolnshire 12.2 10.5 withheld to protect confidentiality 11.5 11.1 15.3
North Somerset 10.1 11.3 withheld to protect confidentiality 12.7 10.6 9.1
North Tyneside 10.0 4.5 3.2 9.5 10.7 9.0
North Yorkshire 8.1 7.5 8.4 11.3 10.8 8.5
Northamptonshire 8.3 4.7 3.5 12.1 11.0 8.7
Northumberland 10.1 10.2 5.5 11.8 10.8 17.1
Nottingham 8.9 5.7 1.7 14.8 14.4 12.8
Nottinghamshire 7.2 4.7 2.9 10.2 9.5 8.5
Oldham 10.9 5.0 NA 15.2 13.3 22.0
Oxfordshire 11.6 7.6 5.8 12.6 10.5 7.4
Peterborough 8.8 4.4 2.8 11.2 12.7 8.0
Plymouth 11.7 5.4 3.8 11.7 12.3 8.4
Poole 7.8 5.8 withheld to protect confidentiality 11.2 10.2 7.5
Portsmouth 8.7 3.9 5.0 11.2 14.5 9.8
Reading 9.7 7.0 3.9 16.0 13.1 11.1
Redbridge 9.4 7.9 3.1 11.7 11.2 9.5
Redcar and Cleveland 4.9 NA withheld to protect confidentiality 9.4 13.6 11.7
Richmond upon Thames 7.2 9.2 2.7 8.7 7.6 8.3
Rochdale 10.0 4.0 4.5 13.6 13.7 11.5
Rotherham 9.6 4.6 NA 17.5 12.7 9.0
Rutland withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality NA 3.7 5.2 withheld to protect confidentiality
Salford 9.3 4.1 NA 9.6 14.1 10.4
Sandwell 7.4 8.2 2.1 14.8 13.4 9.8
Sefton 7.5 5.0 3.8 12.8 11.8 11.8
Sheffield 11.1 7.6 2.1 16.5 13.7 12.9
Shropshire 9.9 9.0 5.9 12.4 10.6 15.4
Slough 7.9 5.6 withheld to protect confidentiality 11.8 13.3 7.1
Solihull 8.2 8.2 3.3 14.6 11.2 8.1
Somerset 9.6 4.1 7.6 13.0 11.5 12.3
South Gloucestershire 8.1 8.2 NA 12.2 10.4 14.1
South Tyneside 7.9 5.7 withheld to protect confidentiality 12.5 11.7 11.6
Southampton 9.3 6.1 5.3 13.5 13.0 9.7
Southend-on-Sea 8.7 4.3 3.0 9.6 10.4 7.9
Southwark 11.5 6.8 3.4 13.2 13.1 9.9
St. Helens 4.6 5.5 withheld to protect confidentiality 10.4 11.3 7.0
Staffordshire 10.0 10.6 1.8 14.2 10.3 11.8
Stockport 12.0 7.2 5.1 12.9 11.7 10.7
Stockton-on-Tees 8.6 3.4 NA 14.1 12.3 9.2
Stoke-on-Trent 10.2 5.6 2.0 15.5 13.8 16.5
Suffolk 8.8 7.7 withheld to protect confidentiality 10.7 10.9 9.2
Sunderland 7.8 4.6 5.3 15.4 12.8 13.7
Surrey 8.8 6.3 3.6 8.3 9.8 7.2
Sutton 7.4 5.8 3.4 10.4 11.2 8.7
Swindon 9.6 4.5 4.4 14.9 11.3 9.1
Tameside 8.2 5.6 withheld to protect confidentiality 11.3 11.3 8.9
Telford and Wrekin 9.0 4.7 3.3 12.7 12.0 11.0
Thurrock 7.3 3.4 withheld to protect confidentiality 10.0 11.7 6.5
Torbay 6.4 10.3 withheld to protect confidentiality 9.4 12.1 8.2
Tower Hamlets 8.2 6.2 withheld to protect confidentiality 14.0 16.2 6.1
Trafford 9.2 6.0 1.6 10.5 8.5 7.0
Wakefield 13.5 5.3 3.2 15.6 15.3 11.7
Walsall 8.2 6.4 2.0 14.7 13.3 11.4
Waltham Forest 12.5 10.3 3.4 14.1 13.9 9.6
Wandsworth 9.2 10.3 3.3 13.3 9.3 9.5
Warrington 10.9 5.6 3.5 11.7 10.2 12.2
Warwickshire 5.4 6.0 1.9 11.2 10.6 7.8
West Berkshire 11.4 7.4 8.2 12.4 9.0 12.8
West Sussex 9.4 7.3 1.2 11.1 10.9 8.5
Westminster 11.0 9.7 2.1 13.3 10.5 10.2
Wigan 9.5 4.4 3.1 10.9 11.3 13.6
Wiltshire 7.2 8.6 2.0 12.1 10.8 11.0
Windsor and Maidenhead 8.5 8.9 5.3 7.4 9.3 10.4
Wirral 9.8 10.0 4.8 12.8 13.4 12.5
Wokingham 8.6 7.5 2.6 9.8 8.5 16.4
Wolverhampton 6.5 7.8 4.6 15.5 12.9 15.1
Worcestershire 10.7 8.3 withheld to protect confidentiality 12.2 11.0 11.4
York 10.0 6.9 3.2 10.0 11.1 10.7

Download table data for ‘Persistent absence by ethnicity and area’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Persistent absence by ethnicity and area’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2017/18, out of all local authorities where data was available, the persistent absence rate among Asian pupils was highest in Cornwall (at 18.2%)
  • the persistent absence rate for Black pupils was highest in Bath and North East Somerset (at 17.3%)
  • among pupils from the Chinese ethnic group, the persistent absence rate was highest in Cornwall (at 8.7%); although the figures show a higher rate in East Riding of Yorkshire (12.0%), the number of pupils (25) is too small to make reliable generalisations
  • the persistent absence rate for pupils with Mixed ethnicity was highest in Middlesbrough (at 18.6%)
  • among White pupils, the persistent absence rate was highest in Leicester (at 17.9%)

7. Persistent absence by ethnicity and type of school

Persistent absence rate and number of pupil enrolments, by ethnicity and type of school
Special State-funded primary State-funded secondary Total
Ethnicity % Pupil enrolments % Pupil enrolments % Pupil enrolments % Pupil enrolments
Asian 35.2 3,321 8.5 36,627 9.5 29,567 9.3 69,515
Bangladeshi 37.1 608 10.0 6,530 9.6 4,947 10.2 12,085
Indian 27.0 470 5.7 6,878 6.1 5,047 6.1 12,395
Pakistani 39.4 1,741 10.9 18,466 12.6 15,927 12.0 36,134
Asian other 30.7 502 6.5 4,753 7.2 3,646 7.1 8,901
Black 22.8 1,575 6.0 13,489 8.3 14,097 7.3 29,161
Black African 20.3 874 4.3 6,570 5.7 6,223 5.1 13,667
Black Caribbean 29.9 448 11.2 4,576 14.8 5,723 13.3 10,747
Black other 23.3 253 7.5 2,343 9.9 2,151 8.8 4,747
Chinese 16.3 52 2.7 514 3.0 305 3.0 871
Mixed 32.0 1,912 10.4 25,248 15.7 24,291 12.8 51,451
Mixed White/Asian 27.8 289 8.1 4,634 12.7 4,572 10.1 9,495
Mixed White/Black African 26.2 214 8.9 3,047 13.9 2,748 11.0 6,009
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 36.8 690 14.2 8,906 21.3 9,276 17.5 18,872
Mixed other 32.0 719 9.8 8,661 13.9 7,695 11.7 17,075
White 29.1 21,398 8.7 254,925 14.9 326,070 11.6 602,393
White British 28.7 19,796 8.2 214,957 14.8 297,692 11.3 532,445
White Irish 38.8 100 13.1 1,349 16.2 1,440 14.8 2,889
Gypsy/Roma 58.1 222 46.3 7,797 52.2 4,570 48.5 12,589
Irish Traveller 73.0 92 67.3 2,998 56.8 701 65.2 3,791
White other 31.6 1,188 9.9 27,824 13.7 21,667 11.4 50,679
Other 32.6 512 8.7 6,810 10.3 5,365 9.6 12,687

Download table data for ‘Persistent absence by ethnicity and type of school’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Persistent absence by ethnicity and type of school’ (CSV)

Summary

The data shows that:

  • in every ethnic group except Bangladeshi and Traveller of Irish Heritage, the persistent absence rate was highest in special schools and lowest in primary schools

8. Methodology

Schools provide pupil absence data every term through the school census. National codes allow them to record and track attendance and absence in a consistent way.

Absence information is matched with each pupil's enrolment.

The school census collects information about a pupil’s attendance in the term before the census. For example, the spring school census collects information on absence during the autumn term.

Data on absence is collected at enrolment level rather than pupil level. This means that pupils who changed school during the school year will have more than 1 enrolment.

All state-funded mainstream schools have 2 sessions per day, morning and afternoon. They have to take a register at the start of the morning session and during the afternoon session.

Parents who don't ensure their child attends school can be prosecuted or fined. Local authorities and schools are legally responsible for the accurate recording of a pupil’s attendance.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Figures based on 2 or fewer pupil enrolments have been suppressed. Rates have been rounded to the nearest 1 decimal place.

For more information about DfE’s disclosure control procedures for its statistical releases please see DfE’s statistical policy statement on confidentiality (PDF).

Related publications

Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2018

Quality and methodology information

9. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Department for Education

Publication frequency

Every academic term

Purpose of data source

The data helps schools, local authorities and the government have a greater understanding of the level of absence and the reasons for it.

10. Download the data