1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2016/17, there were 7.05 million pupils at state-funded primary, secondary or special schools in England – of those, 68% were White British, 11% were Asian, 6% were Black, 6% were from the Other White ethnic group, 5% had Mixed ethnicity, and 0.4% were from the Chinese ethnic group
  • pupils from the Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma ethnic groups had the highest ‘overall absence’ rates (rates of school sessions missed due to authorised and unauthorised absences) and ‘persistent absence’ rates (pupils missing 10% or more of their school sessions)
  • pupils from the Chinese and Black African ethnic groups had the lowest overall and persistent absence rates
  • pupils at special schools had higher overall and persistent absence rates than pupils at primary or secondary schools – this was the case for every ethnic group
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, or are registered in more than one school).

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

Some of the statistics quoted here are based on very small numbers of pupils and are highly variable over time. For example, only 115 Traveller of Irish Heritage pupils went to a special school in January 2017.

The data includes pupils for whom ethnicity was not obtained, was refused, or could not be determined.

The Department for Education (DfE) has excluded, or ‘suppressed’, very small numbers (for example, values of 1 or 2; or percentages based on 1 or 2 pupils who achieved a particular level, or on 0, 1 or 2 pupils who did not).

This is because, where the size of the ethnic group population is small enough that an individual’s identity could be revealed, information is suppressed to preserve confidentiality.

This is consistent with DfE’s statistical policy statement on confidentiality (PDF).

What the data measures

This data measures absence rates from state-funded primary, secondary and special schools in England – both in terms of sessions missed and of pupils who miss 10% or more of their sessions.

‘Overall absence’ is defined as authorised and unauthorised absences from school. The rate of ‘overall absence’ is defined as the number of sessions for which pupils had authorised or unauthorised absences, expressed as a percentage of the total number of their possible ‘sessions’ at school. A session is a morning or afternoon of the school day. This is presented by ethnicity alongside the number of sessions they were absent for.

A pupil is categorised as ‘persistently absent’ if they miss 10% or more of their possible sessions at school. The rate of persistent absence is the total number of pupils (enrolments) who were persistently absent, expressed as a percentage of all pupil enrolments. This rate is presented by ethnicity alongside the number of pupils (enrolments) that were classed as persistently absent.

For each type of school, and at national and local authority level, overall absence rates are calculated as the total number of sessions for which pupils in each ethnic group were absent as a percentage of the total possible sessions for pupils in that group. This is presented alongside the total number of sessions missed.

For persistent absence rates in the three types of school, and at national and local authority level, the data calculates the total number of persistently absent pupils in each ethnic group as a percentage of all pupils (enrolments) in that group. This is presented alongside the total number of persistently absent pupils.

The data covers the academic year 2016/17 (September 2016 to July 2017).

The ethnic categories used in this data

This data uses categories from the Department for Education’s school census, which is 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 has been added to the Asian/Asian British group but is not reported separately
  • Chinese pupils have been assigned a separate category

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

The categories in the school census are as follows:

White:

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

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

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

Asian/Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Other Asian background (including Sri Lankan)

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • Black African
  • Black Caribbean
  • Other Black background

Chinese Other ethnic group

Information is provided for both detailed and broad ethnic groups where possible and when the data is available.

However, local authority data is only provided for the 6 broad ethnic groups. Information about the specific ethnic categories is excluded to preserve confidentiality and ensure individuals cannot be identified.

The 6 broad categories are as follows:

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

2. Overall absence by ethnicity

Number of sessions missed, and overall absence rate, by ethnicity
Ethnicity % Sessions
All 4.7 113,475,287
Asian 4.4 11,407,391
Bangladeshi 4.7 1,938,269
Indian 3.6 2,484,127
Pakistani 5.2 5,388,241
Asian other 3.8 1,596,754
Black 3.4 4,644,815
Black African 2.9 2,606,489
Black Caribbean 4.8 1,367,355
Black other 3.7 670,971
Chinese 2.4 233,434
Mixed 4.9 6,607,319
Mixed White/Asian 4.4 1,390,275
Mixed White/Black African 4.4 792,182
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 5.8 2,135,902
Mixed other 4.7 2,288,960
White 4.8 87,095,112
White British 4.7 78,319,397
White Irish 5.5 382,959
Gypsy/Roma 12.9 1,036,657
Irish Traveller 18.1 311,821
White other 4.8 7,044,278
Other 4.4 1,898,794
Unknown 5.6 1,588,422

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

The data shows that:

  • in 2016/17, pupils from the Chinese, Black African, and Indian ethnic groups had the lowest rates of overall absence, missing 2.4%, 2.9% and 3.6% of their total number of morning and afternoon sessions at school respectively
  • Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma pupils missed 18.1% and 12.9% of their total number of morning and afternoon sessions at school – the highest rates of overall absence out of all ethnic groups
  • White British pupils missed an average of 4.7% of their total number of morning and afternoon sessions at school
  • among the broad ethnic groups, pupils from the Chinese and Black ethnic groups had the lowest overall absence rates (at 2.4% and 3.4% respectively), and those with Mixed ethnicity had the highest overall absence rate (at 4.9%)

3. Persistent absence by ethnicity

Number of pupil enrolments classed as persistently absent, and persistent absence rate, by ethnicity
Ethnicity % Enrolmemts
All 10.8 744,275
Asian 9.2 66,900
Bangladeshi 9.5 11,040
Indian 6.0 11,810
Pakistani 12.0 35,350
Asian other 7.2 8,700
Black 7.1 27,860
Black African 5.0 12,990
Black Caribbean 12.7 10,420
Black other 8.6 4,450
Chinese 3.1 870
Mixed 12.3 47,140
Mixed White/Asian 9.9 8,770
Mixed White/Black African 10.3 5,280
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 16.6 17,345
Mixed other 11.4 15,740
White 11.1 572,880
White British 10.8 505,910
White Irish 14.4 2,825
Gypsy/Roma 49.2 12,550
Irish Traveller 64.0 3,700
White other 11.4 47,895
Other 9.7 12,145
Unknown 16.3 16,485

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • overall in 2016/17, 10.8% of pupils in England were classed as 'persistently absent' – that is, 10.8% of all pupils missed at least 10% of their total number of morning and afternoon sessions at school
  • pupils from the Chinese, Black African, and Indian ethnic groups were least likely to be persistently absent, at 3.1%, 5.0% and 6.0% of pupils respectively
  • 64.0% of Traveller of Irish Heritage pupils, and 49.2% of Gypsy/Roma pupils, were persistently absent, the highest percentages out of all ethnic groups
  • 10.8% of White British pupils were persistently absent, about the same as the national average

4. Overall absence by ethnicity and type of school

Number of sessions missed, and overall absence rate, by ethnicity and type of school
Primary Secondary Special
Ethnicity % Sessions % Sessions % Sessions
All 4.0 56,595,915 5.4 53,682,923 9.7 3,196,449
Asian 4.3 6,365,738 4.5 4,701,768 10.8 339,885
Bangladeshi 4.6 1,074,089 4.6 803,924 11.1 60,256
Indian 3.5 1,439,723 3.6 993,120 8.8 51,284
Pakistani 4.9 2,926,528 5.4 2,285,008 11.8 176,705
Asian other 3.7 925,398 3.7 619,716 9.6 51,640
Black 3.0 2,378,238 3.8 2,089,621 7.7 176,956
Black African 2.6 1,396,893 3.2 1,112,719 6.8 96,877
Black Caribbean 4.2 623,459 5.2 694,681 9.7 49,215
Black other 3.4 357,886 4.1 282,221 8.5 30,864
Chinese 2.4 147,872 2.2 79,373 5.8 6,189
Mixed 4.3 3,572,133 5.7 2,847,718 10.0 187,468
Mixed White/Asian 4.0 774,324 5.1 584,396 9.6 31,555
Mixed White/Black African 3.8 444,525 5.3 325,943 8.7 21,714
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 5.0 1,088,141 6.9 985,808 10.7 61,953
Mixed other 4.2 1,265,143 5.3 951,571 10.2 72,246
White 4.1 42,481,555 5.6 42,237,076 9.7 2,376,481
White British 3.9 37,249,507 5.5 38,862,423 9.6 2,207,467
White Irish 4.8 178,048 6.1 191,811 14.6 13,100
Gypsy/Roma 11.8 621,994 14.9 390,294 20.5 24,369
Irish Traveller 18.0 237,014 17.7 63,764 27.4 11,043
White other 4.5 4,194,992 5.4 2,728,784 10.0 120,502
Other 4.2 1,078,553 4.7 769,815 9.8 50,426
Unknown 4.7 571,826 6.1 957,552 12.5 59,044

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

In 2016/17, 67.2% of pupils in primary schools in England were White British, and 32.8% came from all other ethnic groups (including White ethnic minorities). In secondary schools, 69.5% were White British and 30.5% came from all other ethnic groups. In special schools, 70.8% were White British, and 29.2% came from all other ethnic groups.

This data shows that:

  • in 2016/17, pupils in special schools had the highest overall absence rates in every ethnic group – meaning a higher proportion of sessions were missed in special schools, compared with other types of school
  • with the exception of the Chinese, Bangladeshi, Travellers of Irish heritage and Other Asian ethnic groups, all groups had higher overall absence rates in secondary schools than in primary schools
  • pupils from the Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma ethnic groups missed a higher percentage of their school sessions than other pupils, and this was found in all three types of school – Traveller of Irish Heritage pupils missed 18.0% of primary school sessions, 17.7% of secondary school sessions, and 27.4% of special school sessions; Gypsy/Roma pupils missed 11.8% of primary school sessions, 14.9% of secondary school sessions and 20.5% of special school sessions
  • pupils from the Chinese and Black African ethnic groups missed a lower percentage of their school sessions than other pupils, and this was found in all three types of school – Chinese pupils missed 2.4% of primary school sessions, 2.2% of secondary school sessions, and 5.8% of special school sessions; Black African pupils missed 2.6% of primary school sessions, 3.2% of secondary school sessions and 6.8% of special school sessions

5. Persistent absence by ethnicity and type of school

Number of pupil enrolments classed as persistently absent, and persistent absence rate, by ethnicity and type of school
Primary Secondary Special
Ethnicity % Enrolments % Enrolments % Enrolments
All 8.3 325,230 13.5 392,200 28.5 26,850
Asian 8.5 35,675 9.4 28,155 34.3 3,070
Bangladeshi 9.3 6,020 9.0 4,485 35.9 535
Indian 5.7 6,580 6.0 4,770 28.3 465
Pakistani 10.9 18,300 12.7 15,435 37.6 1,615
Asian other 6.7 4,780 7.2 3,465 29.9 455
Black 5.8 12,995 8.3 13,435 21.9 1,430
Black African 4.2 6,350 5.8 5,905 18.4 735
Black Caribbean 10.7 4,460 14.2 5,525 29.3 435
Black other 7.2 2,185 10.0 2,005 25.0 255
Chinese 2.9 525 3.0 305 14.2 40
Mixed 10.0 23,250 15.4 22,285 29.9 1,610
Mixed White/Asian 8.1 4,415 12.5 4,100 27.1 255
Mixed White/Black African 8.1 2,640 13.7 2,470 24.3 170
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 13.5 8,220 20.4 8,550 34.0 575
Mixed other 9.4 7,975 13.8 7,160 29.8 605
White 8.3 239,865 14.4 313,435 28.0 19,575
White British 7.8 201,695 14.2 286,070 27.6 18,145
White Irish 12.2 1,275 16.2 1,455 37.1 100
Gypsy/Roma 46.5 7,685 54.0 4,655 57.5 205
Irish Traveller 65.1 2,895 59.5 725 66.1 80
White other 9.8 26,315 13.8 20,530 30.7 1,050
Other 8.7 6,560 10.5 5,110 32.5 475
Unknown 13.6 6,360 18.1 9,475 38.7 650

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2016/17, in primary schools, pupils from the Traveller of Irish Heritage, Gypsy/Roma, and Mixed White and Black Caribbean ethnic groups were most likely to be persistently absent, with 65.1%, 46.5% and 13.5% of all pupils in these ethnic groups respectively missing at least 10% of their school sessions
  • in secondary schools, pupils from the Traveller of Irish Heritage, Gypsy/Roma, and Mixed White and Black Caribbean ethnic groups were most likely to be persistently absent, at 59.5%, 54.0% and 20.4% respectively
  • pupils from the Chinese and Black African ethnic groups had the lowest percentages of persistent absence in both primary and secondary schools
  • persistent absence rates were highest in special schools for all ethnic groups

6. Overall absence by ethnicity and local authority

Overall absence rate by ethnicity and local authority
Geography name Asian Black Chinese Mixed White Other
% % % % % %
Barking and Dagenham 4.5 2.6 2.4 5.0 5.6 4.3
Barnet 4.0 3.9 2.4 4.6 4.4 4.4
Barnsley 4.3 2.4 2.9 4.4 5.1 5.4
Bath and North East Somerset 4.7 6.3 3.4 5.4 4.7 4.7
Bedford 5.1 3.2 2.5 5.4 4.5 4.7
Bexley 3.6 2.2 2.3 4.5 5.0 3.7
Birmingham 5.0 3.7 2.4 5.5 5.4 4.3
Blackburn with Darwen 4.3 2.6 1.9 5.1 5.0 5.7
Blackpool 3.7 4.5 2.1 5.4 4.9 5.4
Bolton 3.9 2.3 2.8 5.4 5.0 5.7
Bournemouth 3.8 3.3 2.4 5.0 5.0 3.8
Bracknell Forest 3.5 2.3 2.3 4.5 4.2 3.7
Bradford 4.6 3.0 2.2 6.0 5.3 5.1
Brent 3.8 4.3 2.5 4.8 4.6 4.8
Brighton and Hove 4.6 4.1 2.4 5.1 5.1 5.3
Bristol, City of 5.3 4.6 2.4 5.6 5.3 5.4
Bromley 3.8 3.1 2.8 4.4 4.4 4.4
Buckinghamshire 5.2 3.7 2.9 4.9 4.4 4.4
Bury 5.7 2.8 2.6 5.2 4.7 5.3
Calderdale 4.5 3.1 3.2 4.9 4.3 4.3
Cambridgeshire 4.3 3.9 2.4 4.4 4.4 4.4
Camden 5.7 4.1 3.2 5.3 5.2 4.9
Central Bedfordshire 4.5 3.3 2.2 4.7 4.7 5.2
Cheshire East 4.2 4.2 2.1 4.6 4.3 4.8
Cheshire West and Chester 4.4 3.2 2.8 4.6 4.6 4.0
City of London 3.1 2.5 withheld to protect confidentiality 1.8 2.4 1.6
Cornwall 5.1 3.7 4.0 5.1 4.8 5.7
County Durham 3.9 2.5 2.2 5.4 5.1 4.8
Coventry 4.4 3.7 2.1 5.0 5.1 4.5
Croydon 4.0 3.8 3.1 4.3 4.7 4.7
Cumbria 4.8 2.7 3.1 4.8 5.3 5.3
Darlington 4.5 3.0 2.8 5.8 5.1 4.9
Derby 4.3 3.8 2.0 4.9 4.5 4.6
Derbyshire 4.4 3.3 2.9 4.7 4.5 4.4
Devon 4.7 3.0 2.3 5.5 5.6 5.8
Doncaster 4.3 4.3 2.8 4.5 4.9 5.0
Dorset 4.6 3.4 2.1 5.6 4.9 4.4
Dudley 4.1 2.7 1.8 4.3 4.8 4.5
Ealing 4.0 4.1 2.1 4.8 4.6 4.3
East Riding of Yorkshire 4.1 4.2 2.6 4.7 4.5 4.0
East Sussex 4.1 3.7 2.0 5.4 5.3 5.3
Enfield 4.5 3.9 2.1 4.9 5.2 4.6
Essex 3.8 2.7 2.3 4.6 4.6 3.9
Gateshead 4.7 2.1 2.0 3.9 4.6 4.2
Gloucestershire 4.2 3.7 3.0 5.3 4.7 5.1
Greenwich 4.1 2.8 2.5 4.8 5.4 3.7
Hackney 4.6 3.4 1.9 4.8 4.6 4.0
Halton 4.1 2.4 2.8 4.5 5.0 3.4
Hammersmith and Fulham 4.7 4.3 2.0 4.9 4.7 4.8
Hampshire 3.5 2.7 2.6 4.2 4.3 3.8
Haringey 4.9 4.0 1.8 5.0 4.7 4.5
Harrow 3.8 4.4 1.9 4.7 4.6 5.0
Hartlepool 5.0 2.7 2.5 4.4 5.2 4.8
Havering 4.5 2.9 2.3 5.1 5.1 4.4
Herefordshire, County of 4.2 4.6 3.9 3.7 4.5 4.4
Hertfordshire 4.4 3.0 2.6 4.7 4.5 4.2
Hillingdon 3.9 4.2 3.1 4.3 5.7 3.8
Hounslow 3.9 3.8 2.3 4.9 5.1 4.0
Isle of Wight 3.7 4.9 3.7 5.1 4.9 4.2
Isles of Scilly withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 2.3 4.8 withheld to protect confidentiality
Islington 5.0 3.9 2.2 5.2 5.4 4.2
Kensington and Chelsea 4.8 3.9 4.2 5.0 4.8 4.3
Kent 3.6 2.5 2.6 4.4 5.0 4.0
Kingston upon Hull, City of 4.6 2.6 1.3 4.5 5.2 4.4
Kingston upon Thames 4.0 4.0 2.1 4.3 4.1 3.5
Kirklees 5.1 3.6 1.9 5.3 4.3 4.7
Knowsley 3.2 3.0 1.2 6.1 5.8 4.4
Lambeth 4.9 4.1 2.3 5.1 4.5 4.7
Lancashire 4.7 3.3 2.3 4.5 4.2 5.0
Leeds 4.8 2.6 2.0 5.2 4.9 4.6
Leicester 4.1 3.6 2.1 5.9 6.0 4.7
Leicestershire 3.8 2.9 2.4 4.5 4.5 4.4
Lewisham 4.3 3.8 2.0 5.0 5.1 4.1
Lincolnshire 4.0 2.8 2.5 4.7 4.8 4.4
Liverpool 3.8 3.4 2.0 5.5 5.7 4.5
Luton 5.1 3.4 2.6 5.2 5.5 5.1
Manchester 4.4 2.7 1.7 5.3 5.4 4.1
Medway 3.9 2.5 2.1 4.6 4.9 3.7
Merton 4.0 3.2 2.0 4.5 4.5 3.7
Middlesbrough 4.5 2.7 2.5 5.5 5.9 4.7
Milton Keynes 4.5 2.8 2.6 4.6 4.8 4.3
Newcastle upon Tyne 4.5 2.5 2.3 4.1 5.3 4.1
Newham 4.3 3.3 2.1 5.1 5.7 4.1
Norfolk 4.2 3.1 2.4 4.9 4.9 4.4
North East Lincolnshire 4.9 3.6 2.7 5.0 4.7 3.8
North Lincolnshire 4.5 4.1 3.0 4.1 4.4 4.4
North Somerset 4.3 4.6 3.1 4.9 4.7 3.7
North Tyneside 4.9 2.5 2.4 4.4 4.6 5.4
North Yorkshire 4.4 3.3 3.2 4.3 4.7 4.2
Northamptonshire 4.1 3.0 2.3 4.8 4.7 4.2
Northumberland 4.3 2.7 3.0 5.0 4.7 5.3
Nottingham 4.4 3.1 1.9 5.4 5.4 5.1
Nottinghamshire 4.2 3.0 2.5 4.6 4.4 4.7
Oldham 4.9 2.3 2.2 5.6 5.3 7.9
Oxfordshire 5.0 3.6 2.5 5.1 4.6 4.1
Peterborough 4.7 2.7 1.8 4.8 4.8 4.1
Plymouth 4.2 2.6 3.2 5.0 4.9 5.1
Poole 4.2 3.2 2.7 4.6 4.4 3.9
Portsmouth 4.2 2.5 3.2 4.8 5.4 3.7
Reading 4.5 3.0 2.7 5.3 4.9 4.3
Redbridge 4.6 3.8 2.5 4.6 4.9 4.4
Redcar and Cleveland 4.3 2.7 0.9 4.8 5.0 5.2
Richmond upon Thames 4.0 4.1 2.3 4.0 3.9 4.2
Rochdale 4.5 2.3 1.9 4.9 4.9 4.7
Rotherham 5.2 2.7 2.2 5.7 5.3 4.2
Rutland 3.3 2.5 1.2 3.4 3.1 3.1
Salford 4.2 2.2 1.9 4.1 5.3 4.5
Sandwell 4.0 3.5 1.9 5.2 5.1 4.2
Sefton 3.7 3.3 3.0 4.9 4.9 4.6
Sheffield 5.0 3.6 1.9 5.7 5.3 4.7
Shropshire 4.1 4.1 2.5 4.6 4.5 4.5
Slough 4.3 3.1 2.0 4.4 4.9 4.1
Solihull 4.3 3.5 2.3 5.6 4.8 4.3
Somerset 4.2 3.4 2.7 5.0 4.9 5.2
South Gloucestershire 4.4 3.6 2.1 5.2 4.6 5.1
South Tyneside 4.2 2.6 2.1 4.8 5.0 4.2
Southampton 4.1 2.7 2.3 4.6 4.9 3.7
Southend-on-Sea 4.1 2.3 2.1 4.3 4.5 4.3
Southwark 4.6 3.1 2.6 4.7 5.0 4.4
St. Helens 3.3 3.5 2.2 4.4 4.7 4.7
Staffordshire 4.8 4.1 2.2 4.9 4.5 4.6
Stockport 5.2 3.5 2.5 5.0 4.8 5.6
Stockton-on-Tees 5.0 2.3 2.0 5.1 4.9 5.4
Stoke-on-Trent 4.6 2.7 2.2 5.5 5.0 5.8
Suffolk 4.5 3.5 2.1 4.8 4.6 4.2
Sunderland 4.1 2.7 2.4 4.7 5.0 3.8
Surrey 4.3 3.2 2.7 4.1 4.4 3.8
Sutton 3.7 3.1 2.3 4.4 4.8 4.0
Swindon 4.4 3.1 2.7 5.1 4.7 4.6
Tameside 4.3 2.3 2.2 4.5 4.7 3.6
Telford and Wrekin 4.1 2.3 2.3 4.6 4.6 4.2
Thurrock 3.8 2.1 1.7 4.1 4.9 3.4
Torbay 3.9 3.1 3.4 5.3 5.1 4.4
Tower Hamlets 4.1 3.2 2.0 5.2 5.8 3.5
Trafford 4.6 3.2 2.3 4.4 3.8 4.1
Wakefield 5.3 2.8 2.3 5.3 5.2 4.9
Walsall 4.1 3.1 1.7 5.4 5.1 4.8
Waltham Forest 5.1 4.1 2.1 5.1 5.2 4.4
Wandsworth 4.5 4.3 2.8 5.0 4.3 4.3
Warrington 4.7 2.8 3.0 4.5 4.3 4.9
Warwickshire 3.4 3.1 2.3 4.4 4.4 3.6
West Berkshire 4.6 3.7 2.4 4.6 4.1 4.5
West Sussex 4.7 3.8 2.7 4.7 4.6 4.6
Westminster 4.6 4.0 2.1 4.9 4.8 4.8
Wigan 4.6 2.5 2.5 4.4 4.6 4.7
Wiltshire 3.9 3.9 2.8 5.0 4.7 4.2
Windsor and Maidenhead 4.4 3.2 2.9 4.0 4.2 4.1
Wirral 4.2 3.4 2.2 5.0 5.1 4.2
Wokingham 4.3 3.4 2.6 4.4 4.1 4.9
Wolverhampton 3.7 3.3 2.9 5.4 5.0 5.7
Worcestershire 4.7 3.5 2.4 4.7 4.5 4.4
York 4.4 3.1 2.9 4.6 4.4 4.8

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2016/17, out of all local authorities where data was available, the overall absence rate among Asian pupils was highest in Camden in London and Bury in the North West (both at 5.7%) and lowest in the City of London (3.1%) and Knowsley in the North West (3.2%)
  • the overall absence rate among Black pupils was highest in Bath and North East Somerset in the South West (6.3%) and lowest in Thurrock in the East of England and Gateshead in the North East (both at 2.1%)
  • the overall absence rate among pupils from the Chinese ethnic group was highest in Kensington and Chelsea in London (4.2%) and lowest in Redcar and Cleveland in the North East (0.9%)
  • the overall absence rate among pupils with Mixed ethnicity was highest in Knowsley in the North West (6.1%), and lowest in Rutland in the East Midlands (3.4%) after the Isles of Scilly (2.3%) and the City of London (1.8%), both of which had very small numbers of pupils
  • the overall absence rate among White pupils was highest in Leicester in the East Midlands (6.0%) and lowest in the City of London (2.4%) and Rutland in the East Midlands (3.1%)

7. Persistent absence by ethnicity and local authority

Percentage of pupil enrolments classed as persistently absent by ethnicity and local authority
Geography Asian Black Chinese Mixed White Other
% % % % % %
Barking and Dagenham 8.7 4.2 4.2 13.5 15.7 9.9
Barnet 7.5 8.6 1.7 10.9 9.0 8.9
Barnsley 10.4 2.7 0.0 10.2 13.5 17.8
Bath and North East Somerset 11.0 18.8 6.8 14.3 10.3 13.5
Bedford 12.2 6.7 7.4 14.6 10.2 14.3
Bexley 5.7 2.5 1.4 10.3 12.2 4.2
Birmingham 11.1 8.6 3.7 15.7 14.7 10.1
Blackburn with Darwen 8.7 4.8 withheld to protect confidentiality 13.1 13.6 16.2
Blackpool 6.1 16.1 0.0 15.2 12.2 13.5
Bolton 7.4 4.2 5.3 14.2 12.7 16.0
Bournemouth 8.3 5.7 5.8 12.6 11.7 9.4
Bracknell Forest 6.0 3.8 withheld to protect confidentiality 8.6 8.4 9.1
Bradford 10.5 6.2 withheld to protect confidentiality 18.2 14.5 14.0
Brent 7.3 10.0 3.9 10.9 11.1 10.2
Brighton and Hove 9.9 7.6 1.9 12.4 11.6 10.6
Bristol, City of 14.2 10.7 5.6 15.7 13.4 17.2
Bromley 6.7 5.9 4.0 10.1 9.2 10.5
Buckinghamshire 12.5 8.0 3.8 11.8 9.7 10.5
Bury 14.0 5.3 3.4 13.7 12.1 14.1
Calderdale 9.3 6.0 6.8 12.8 9.3 11.7
Cambridgeshire 8.2 7.3 3.3 9.3 8.9 9.5
Camden 13.9 8.7 5.6 14.2 13.3 10.8
Central Bedfordshire 9.7 7.8 withheld to protect confidentiality 11.4 10.5 11.7
Cheshire East 9.8 10.9 withheld to protect confidentiality 11.1 9.2 11.9
Cheshire West and Chester 9.3 6.7 withheld to protect confidentiality 11.0 10.6 3.1
City of London withheld to protect confidentiality 0.0 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 0.0
Cornwall 12.8 withheld to protect confidentiality 10.4 14.0 11.2 18.6
Coventry 7.3 4.6 2.2 14.6 13.4 13.8
Croydon 8.8 8.8 2.4 12.9 12.4 9.4
Cumbria 8.1 9.9 4.3 10.8 10.4 9.7
Darlington 10.2 withheld to protect confidentiality 14.6 11.9 13.7 11.4
Derby 9.7 5.8 3.1 18.3 14.4 11.4
Derbyshire 11.2 8.1 2.4 12.1 10.0 14.1
Devon 11.2 4.3 5.2 10.8 9.6 8.5
Doncaster 11.1 6.0 3.3 14.6 14.9 15.7
Dorset 10.6 12.0 3.5 10.0 11.1 11.2
Dudley 10.7 8.1 withheld to protect confidentiality 15.7 11.9 10.9
Durham 9.6 4.4 3.1 9.7 10.9 10.4
Ealing 7.6 8.7 withheld to protect confidentiality 11.4 10.6 8.0
East Riding of Yorkshire 9.8 14.3 withheld to protect confidentiality 13.6 10.3 9.1
East Sussex 8.7 9.1 1.9 14.2 12.9 14.4
Enfield 9.3 9.2 1.8 12.6 13.0 9.9
Essex 7.2 5.3 2.8 10.6 10.2 6.5
Gateshead 10.8 3.2 2.8 8.0 10.4 8.4
Gloucestershire 8.6 7.8 4.1 14.4 10.8 13.3
Greenwich 7.2 5.0 2.6 11.8 14.5 8.2
Hackney 9.1 7.1 2.1 11.8 10.1 7.4
Halton 5.7 0.0 0.0 10.4 12.2 withheld to protect confidentiality
Hammersmith and Fulham 10.9 9.3 withheld to protect confidentiality 12.1 11.3 10.6
Hampshire 6.5 4.5 2.6 9.7 9.5 8.5
Haringey 10.6 8.6 1.0 12.3 10.3 9.5
Harrow 6.2 10.6 withheld to protect confidentiality 11.8 10.8 12.4
Hartlepool 12.0 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 4.9 12.5 10.8
Havering 9.2 5.4 3.6 13.2 12.3 12.1
Herefordshire 11.8 12.1 withheld to protect confidentiality 7.8 9.7 6.7
Hertfordshire 8.8 5.3 3.3 10.9 9.8 9.0
Hillingdon 7.3 8.6 8.6 9.4 15.2 6.9
Hounslow 6.9 7.0 3.0 12.0 12.6 7.2
Isle of Wight 7.5 16.7 15.8 12.8 11.7 7.7
Isles of Scilly withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 0.0 6.8 withheld to protect confidentiality
Islington 10.7 8.4 withheld to protect confidentiality 14.0 13.7 8.3
Kensington and Chelsea 11.9 7.6 10.0 11.6 11.5 9.0
Kent 6.3 5.0 4.1 10.1 12.1 9.0
Kingston upon Hull, City of 9.9 5.4 0.0 9.8 13.8 8.6
Kingston upon Thames 6.9 7.3 1.2 9.2 8.3 6.3
Kirklees 11.0 8.8 1.9 14.5 9.4 13.0
Knowsley 4.8 5.8 0.0 15.4 16.6 16.7
Lambeth 11.4 9.7 4.2 13.0 10.0 10.4
Lancashire 10.4 7.4 2.6 11.1 9.3 14.5
Leeds 10.2 4.3 3.6 13.5 11.9 9.6
Leicester 8.7 7.4 withheld to protect confidentiality 16.9 16.9 12.2
Leicestershire 5.9 5.4 3.5 10.0 9.7 8.5
Lewisham 9.7 8.8 3.3 12.8 12.9 8.3
Lincolnshire 6.7 3.5 1.8 12.2 11.3 11.7
Liverpool 6.8 7.6 2.3 14.8 15.0 9.7
Luton 11.1 7.3 0.0 13.3 14.4 12.2
Manchester 9.4 5.4 2.8 13.9 14.2 9.0
Medway 5.8 3.9 2.9 12.0 12.2 6.6
Merton 7.3 6.5 1.9 10.4 10.0 6.5
Middlesbrough 9.5 5.1 withheld to protect confidentiality 15.4 16.7 11.8
Milton Keynes 9.5 4.7 1.6 11.4 11.7 9.4
Newcastle upon Tyne 10.0 4.2 4.8 9.1 14.0 8.6
Newham 9.0 6.8 5.2 12.5 16.5 8.9
Norfolk 9.5 6.8 2.8 12.2 11.5 9.1
North East Lincolnshire 16.7 5.5 withheld to protect confidentiality 13.9 11.2 8.9
North Lincolnshire 9.0 9.9 6.0 6.8 9.9 10.6
North Somerset 8.7 12.7 7.0 11.9 11.2 5.9
North Tyneside 13.9 2.2 3.3 8.7 10.7 13.2
North Yorkshire 10.8 5.5 9.0 9.8 10.1 6.9
Northamptonshire 7.7 5.9 2.2 12.1 10.7 9.1
Northumberland 7.0 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 12.9 10.3 19.4
Nottingham 9.0 6.0 3.1 13.7 14.7 12.5
Nottinghamshire 7.4 5.6 3.5 10.3 9.8 11.1
Oldham 11.2 4.1 4.2 16.0 14.1 28.4
Oxfordshire 12.3 7.5 4.7 12.1 10.0 8.5
Peterborough 9.4 4.9 2.7 11.9 11.9 8.1
Plymouth 7.9 5.7 4.7 11.7 11.7 11.8
Poole 7.7 7.2 withheld to protect confidentiality 9.9 9.1 10.4
Portsmouth 9.5 4.7 5.8 10.7 13.6 7.0
Reading 10.3 6.2 3.4 15.2 12.0 8.7
Redbridge 9.6 9.0 4.0 11.3 11.9 8.6
Redcar and Cleveland 9.0 withheld to protect confidentiality 0.0 11.3 12.0 18.4
Richmond upon Thames 7.4 8.1 1.7 8.4 7.3 9.2
Rochdale 8.2 3.5 withheld to protect confidentiality 12.3 12.2 9.8
Rotherham 13.0 5.4 4.4 14.9 13.0 8.8
Rutland withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 0.0 5.0 4.5 withheld to protect confidentiality
Salford 9.7 2.8 withheld to protect confidentiality 10.6 13.5 12.4
Sandwell 7.0 7.9 3.8 14.5 12.5 8.9
Sefton 8.1 4.6 12.5 12.1 11.5 11.0
Sheffield 12.8 7.7 1.8 15.7 13.7 11.2
Shropshire 8.1 10.5 0.0 10.4 9.6 7.4
Slough 7.6 5.3 withheld to protect confidentiality 10.2 11.8 6.6
Solihull 8.2 8.8 withheld to protect confidentiality 15.6 11.7 10.0
Somerset 9.3 7.8 3.5 12.1 11.3 15.5
South Gloucestershire 8.2 8.5 3.0 13.5 10.0 14.1
South Tyneside 8.1 5.4 0.0 13.3 12.5 10.0
Southampton 8.3 4.3 3.6 10.9 12.0 6.6
Southend-on-Sea 7.8 2.9 3.6 9.9 9.7 10.7
Southwark 9.1 5.9 2.1 11.9 12.2 10.4
St. Helens 5.6 5.7 withheld to protect confidentiality 10.8 11.0 12.0
Staffordshire 10.3 9.2 1.1 13.2 9.8 10.0
Stockport 12.1 6.2 2.1 12.6 11.0 13.5
Stockton-on-Tees 12.4 3.6 0.0 13.2 11.6 14.3
Stoke-on-Trent 9.9 5.0 withheld to protect confidentiality 15.6 12.7 18.9
Suffolk 11.3 6.2 withheld to protect confidentiality 11.1 9.9 10.0
Sunderland 7.9 8.3 3.8 11.5 12.3 7.7
Surrey 8.4 6.5 4.9 8.6 9.4 6.0
Sutton 6.8 5.4 2.0 9.6 10.9 5.9
Swindon 9.3 5.0 6.4 13.8 11.2 11.1
Tameside 8.0 3.4 2.9 12.1 10.8 6.0
Telford and Wrekin 8.2 3.6 5.6 11.5 10.7 13.9
Thurrock 6.0 3.0 0.0 10.1 11.1 6.7
Torbay 6.2 0.0 5.3 13.4 13.3 9.7
Tower Hamlets 7.2 6.2 2.1 13.5 16.1 5.6
Trafford 9.2 6.8 3.2 9.5 7.3 8.1
Wakefield 12.9 5.0 withheld to protect confidentiality 14.0 13.2 14.8
Walsall 7.9 6.4 0.0 14.1 12.5 11.1
Waltham Forest 11.7 9.8 3.9 13.6 13.5 9.6
Wandsworth 9.6 9.9 withheld to protect confidentiality 13.3 9.3 8.2
Warrington 10.6 7.0 6.7 11.3 9.3 10.1
Warwickshire 4.7 5.8 withheld to protect confidentiality 9.6 9.3 6.5
West Berkshire 8.9 8.1 0.0 10.8 8.4 9.0
West Sussex 10.7 8.7 4.1 11.3 10.2 8.3
Westminster 10.4 9.0 2.1 13.2 11.0 10.1
Wigan 9.5 2.5 2.5 10.7 10.5 11.8
Wiltshire 9.3 7.9 4.1 12.0 10.1 9.7
Windsor and Maidenhead 8.2 4.0 withheld to protect confidentiality 6.9 8.9 7.5
Wirral 9.4 8.0 2.3 13.9 13.2 13.5
Wokingham 7.6 6.6 2.7 10.2 8.5 12.6
Wolverhampton 6.6 7.4 6.7 14.4 13.3 15.0
Worcestershire 10.4 8.3 2.3 11.3 10.0 9.9
York 7.4 6.9 3.5 12.1 9.8 13.0

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data show that:

  • in 2016/17, the persistent absence rate among Asian pupils was highest in North East Lincolnshire in Yorkshire and the Humber (16.7%) and lowest in Warwickshire in the West Midlands (4.7%)
  • the persistent absence rate among Black pupils was highest in Bath and North East Somerset in the South West (18.8%) and lowest in Halton in the North West (0% when rounded)
  • the persistent absence rate among pupils from the Chinese ethnic group was highest in the Isle of Wight in the South East (15.8%) and lowest in 14 local authorities where data was available (where it was 0% when rounded)
  • the persistent absence rate among pupils with Mixed ethnicity was highest in Derby the East Midlands (18.3%), and lowest in Hartlepool in the North East (4.9%) (after the Isles of Scilly in the South West, which had no pupils who were persistently absent but this was based on a very small number of pupils)
  • the persistent absence rate among White pupils was highest in Leicester in the East Midlands (16.9%) and lowest in Rutland in the East Midlands (4.5%)

8. Methodology

Pupil absence is reported by schools and collected via the termly school census. National codes enable schools to record and monitor attendance and absence in a consistent way.

Absence information is matched with each pupil's enrolment to give figures for the full academic year. The school census collects information for a pupil’s attendance in the term prior to the census. For example, the spring school census collects information on absence during the autumn term.

Data is collected for the previous term to ensure all absences are accounted for and recorded in each term. Special schools provide annual absence data in the autumn school census.

Absence information is collected and disseminated at enrolment level rather than pupil level. This means that where a pupil has moved school throughout the year, they will be counted more than once as they have recorded attendance at more than 1 school. This allows for schools to be held accountable for pupil absences, as the absence is attached to enrolments at a particular school, not the individual pupil.

All state-funded mainstream schools are required to provide 2 possible sessions per day, morning and afternoon, to all pupils.

Schools are required to take attendance registers twice a day: once at the start of the morning session of each school day and once during the afternoon session.

Failure of a parent to ensure regular attendance for their child of compulsory school age can lead to a penalty notice or prosecution. Local authorities and schools have legal responsibilities regarding accurate recording of a pupil’s attendance.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Enrolment numbers at national and regional levels are rounded to the nearest 5.

Local authority totals across school types are also rounded to the nearest 5 to prevent any suppressed values being disclosed.

Enrolment numbers of less than 3 and rates based on fewer than 3 pupil enrolments have been suppressed. This is because, where the size of the ethnic group population is small enough that an individual’s identity could be revealed, information is suppressed to preserve confidentiality. The Code of Practice for Official Statistics requires DfE to take reasonable steps to ensure that their published or disseminated statistics protect confidentiality.

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

Rounding

Enrolment numbers at national and regional levels are rounded to the nearest 5.

Local authority totals across school types are also rounded to the nearest 5 to prevent disclosure of any suppressed values.

Related publications

Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2017

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

Absence from school - Spreadsheet (csv) 23 KB

this file contains the following variables: Measures, Time, Time_type, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Geography2, Geography, school_type, Value, Denominator, Numerator

Absence from school Local Authority level - Spreadsheet (csv) 3 MB

This file contains the following variables: Measures, Time, Time_type, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Geography, school_type, Value, Denominator, Numerator