School pupil absence statistics by local authority area: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

You asked for the total number of school pupils absences and absence rate (as % of total pupils) by local authority for each week from the beginning of term in August until the third week of November for both 2019 and 2020.


I enclose a copy of some of the information you requested.

The attached spreadsheet contains the information you asked for in relation to 2020. Note that it is not possible to work out the total number of school absences – we can only work out how many pupils are absent on each particular day and add them together. What has been provided is the average number of pupils off per day in each week since the beginning of August. This is explained in the footnotes accompanying the table in the attached file.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have some of the information you have requested. Attendance and Absence data of the detail required to work out a weekly absence rate has only been collected since August 2020. The 2018/19 data collected on Attendance and Absence for the biennial publication does not contain a breakdown of figures on a week by week basis.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI202000115329 - Information Released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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