Latest national pupil absence data shows that the overall absence rate across state funded primary, secondary and special schools has remained at the same rate of 4.6% in 2015/16 as in the previous year. The overall absence rate has remained broadly stable since 2013/14. Illness remains the most common reason for absence, accounting for 57.3% of all absences.
In 2015/16, persistent absentees accounted for 36.6% of all absence compared to 37.4% in 2014/15. Longer term, there has been a decrease in the proportion of absence that persistent absentees account for – down from 43.3% in 2011/12.
Family holidays (authorised and unauthorised) accounted for 8.2% of all absences in 2015/16 compared to 7.5% in 2014/15.
Among ethnic groups, the lowest overall absence rates were seen for pupils of Chinese and Black African heritage, at 2.4% and 3.0% respectively, a substantially lower rate than the national average of 4.6%.
Read more about national absence rates here.