Attendance and Absence
Schools record information on pupils attendance and absence from school and the reasons for this. This information is used to monitor pupil engagement and also to ensure pupils safety and wellbeing by following up on pupils who do not attend school. The Scottish Government published detailed guidance in 2007 on promoting good attendance at school and effective management of absenteeism (see: http://www.scotland.gov.uk660f2585-de23-4ad2-8d46-25e27a52c9c1).
Table 4.1 shows school attendance, absence and temporary exclusion rates over the period 2007/08 to 2012/13. Information on attendance and absence was not collected in 2011/12, as this data is now collected only once every two years.
Variations in recording practice for reasons for absence, between local authorities and over time, means that values and comparisons for certain detailed absence reasons, sickness and truancy in particular, are not reliable. The full breakdown of categories by local authority for 2012/13, available in the supplementary tables, shows which local authorities appear to be under-recording these reasons for absence. These data, and Table 4.1 below, do however show levels of absence as recorded by schools. Comparisons of overall attendance, overall absence and temporary exclusions are considered valid over time and between local authorities.
Since 2007/08 pupils' rate of attendance has increased from 93.2 to 93.6 per cent in 2012/13.
Table 4.1: Percentage Attendance and Absence by detailed reason, 2007/08 to 2012/13(1)(2)
|Sickness with education provision||-||-||-||-||-|
|Sickness without education provision||3.3||3.4||3.5||3.4||3.7|
|Exceptional domestic circumstances||0.1||0.1||0.1||0.1||0.1|
|Unexplained absence, including truancy||0.9||0.9||1.2||1.3||1.2|
|Exceptional domestic circumstances (unauthorised)||-||-||-||-||-|
|All absences (authorised and unauthorised)||6.7||6.6||6.7||6.8||6.4|
(1) Detailed absence reasons will be affected by differing reporting practices across local authorities and over time. Overall absence and attendance are comparable.
(2) Information on attendance is now collected on a biennial basis see background note 2.6 for more information.
Email: Kieran Furness
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