Publication - Statistics

Summary statistics for schools in Scotland no. 10: 2019 edition

Published: 10 Dec 2019
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Education
ISBN:
9781839604010

Results of the annual pupil and teacher census and early learning and childcare provision conducted in September 2019 and attendance, absence and exclusions for the 2018 to 2019 school year.

Contents
Summary statistics for schools in Scotland no. 10: 2019 edition
Chapter 6: Attendance and absence

Chapter 6: Attendance and absence

93.0% attendance in 2018/19, down from 93.3% in 2016/17

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.gov.scot/Publications/2007/12/05100056/0). An updated version was published in June 2019 (see: https://www.gov.scot/publications/included-engaged-involved-part-1-positive-approach-promotion-management-attendance-scottish-schools/).

Information on attendance and absence was not collected in 2011/12, 2013/14, 2015/16 or 2017/18 as this data is collected only once every two years.

There have been some variations in recording practice between local authorities and over time for certain reasons for absence. This should be kept in mind when analysing the statistics at this level. Statistics on overall attendance, overall absence and temporary exclusions are not affected by these issues.

Table 6.1 shows school attendance, absence and temporary exclusion rates over the period 2010/11 to 2016/17. Since 2010/11 pupils' rate of attendance has remained relatively stable, increasing from 93.1% to 93.7% in 2014/15 then decreasing to 93.0% in 2018/19.

Table 6.1: Attendance and absence by detailed reason(1)

Percentage of half day openings

2010/11 2012/13 2014/15 2016/17 2018/19
Attendance 93.1 93.6 93.7 93.3 93.0
In school 91.1 91.7 91.6 91.1 90.6
Late 1.8 1.7 1.9 2.0 2.2
Work experience 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1
Sickness with education provision 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1
Authorised absence 4.9 4.5 4.3 4.2 4.4
Sickness without education provision 3.4 3.7 3.5 3.5 3.6
Very late 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Authorised holidays 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Exceptional domestic circumstances 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Other authorised(2) 1.2 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.6
Unauthorised absence 1.9 1.8 2.0 2.4 2.6
Unauthorised holidays 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.7 0.7
Unexplained absence, including 'occasional absence without parental awareness' 1.3 1.2 1.3 1.5 1.7
Exceptional domestic circumstances (unauthorised) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Other unauthorised 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2
All absences (authorised and unauthorised) 6.8 6.4 6.3 6.6 7.0
Temporary exclusion 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

(1) Detailed absence reasons will be affected by differing reporting practices across local authorities and over time. Overall absence and attendance are comparable.

(2) Includes part-time timetable (exclusion related) and part-time timetable (health related). Please see the background notes for more information.

Table 6.2 shows the 2018/19 national attendance rate across each sector broken down by sex, ethnicity, additional support needs and the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2016 (SIMD, 20% most deprived versus 20% least deprived).

Pupils with additional support needs had a lower attendance rate than pupils with no additional support needs, with the difference being greater in secondary school.

Pupils living in the most deprived areas had lower attendance rates in all sectors than those living in the least deprived areas - across all sectors pupils living in the 20% most deprived areas had an attendance rate of 90.4% compared to 95.3% for those living in the 20% least deprived areas. This effect was the greatest in secondary schools, with pupils living in the least deprived areas having an attendance rate 6.6 percentage points higher than those living in the most deprived areas.

Table 6.2: Attendance by pupil characteristic

Percentage of half day openings

Primary Secondary Special Total
All Pupils 94.5 90.7 90.1 93.0
Sex
Male 94.5 90.8 90.2 92.9
Female 94.6 90.7 90.0 93.0
Ethnicity
White Scottish 94.7 90.6 89.8 92.9
White non-Scottish 93.9 90.6 91.2 92.7
Mixed or multiple ethnic groups 95.0 91.4 91.8 93.7
Asian 93.8 93.1 90.2 93.5
African/Black/Caribbean 96.3 94.5 93.8 95.6
All other ethnic groups 93.0 91.0 88.9 92.3
Not Disclosed / Not Known 93.4 89.2 91.4 92.3
Additional support needs(1)
Pupils with ASN 93.1 88.1 90.2 90.8
Pupils with no ASN 95.1 92.0 # 93.9
SIMD(1)(2)
Lowest 20% of SIMD (Most deprived) 92.4 87.3 88.3 90.4
Highest 20% of SIMD (Least deprived) 96.4 93.9 92.4 95.3

(1) Pupils that were not matched to the pupil census have not been included.

(2) SIMD data not available for 11,660 pupil enrolments, 1.6% of the total, including those pertaining to pupils not matched to the pupil census. Please see the background notes for more information.

Table 6.3 shows local attendance rates over the period 2010/11 to 2018/19. In 2018/19 the percentage attendance in Scottish local authority schools ranged from 91.2% to 95.2%. This range of variation in attendance rates was consistent with the preceding years.

Table 6.3: Average attendance

Percentage of half day openings

Local Authority 2010/11 2012/13 2014/15 2016/17 2018/19
Aberdeen City 93.0 93.0 93.5 93.6 93.3
Aberdeenshire 94.5 94.5 94.8 94.9 94.4
Angus 94.2 94.2 94.3 93.7 93.4
Argyll and Bute 93.7 94.3 94.2 93.7 93.5
City of Edinburgh 93.0 93.9 94.1 93.9 93.8
Clackmannanshire 93.6 93.4 93.3 92.9 92.9
Dumfries and Galloway 94.4 94.2 94.5 94.2 93.6
Dundee City 92.0 92.3 92.4 92.3 91.8
East Ayrshire 93.0 93.4 93.4 93.0 92.2
East Dunbartonshire 94.6 95.2 95.3 95.0 94.9
East Lothian 93.8 94.2 93.9 93.7 93.1
East Renfrewshire 95.2 95.5 95.6 95.3 95.2
Falkirk 93.4 93.8 93.6 93.1 92.9
Fife 92.6 93.0 93.5 93.0 92.6
Glasgow City 91.3 92.6 92.8 92.5 92.2
Highland 92.8 93.0 93.2 93.4 92.7
Inverclyde 92.9 93.4 93.0 92.5 92.2
Midlothian 93.0 93.2 93.0 92.6 92.6
Moray 93.9 94.2 94.1 94.0 93.9
Na h-Eileanan Siar 93.9 93.9 94.9 95.2 94.0
North Ayrshire 93.2 93.5 93.3 92.6 92.1
North Lanarkshire 92.1 92.9 92.8 91.8 91.2
Orkney Islands 93.1 93.8 94.2 94.6 93.8
Perth and Kinross 93.8 94.0 93.9 93.6 93.3
Renfrewshire 93.8 94.0 93.6 93.3 93.0
Scottish Borders 94.0 94.3 94.4 94.2 93.7
Shetland Islands 94.2 94.5 94.4 94.5 94.4
South Ayrshire 93.2 93.2 93.2 93.2 92.6
South Lanarkshire 93.2 93.8 93.9 93.4 92.9
Stirling 92.5 94.1 94.4 94.1 93.7
West Dunbartonshire 92.3 93.3 92.7 91.8 91.8
West Lothian 93.7 93.9 93.9 93.3 92.7
Grant-Aided(1) 95.8 96.9 96.8 97.1 96.7
Scotland 93.1 93.6 93.7 93.3 93.0

(1) Includes Jordanhill the mainstream grant-aided school only. Grant-aided special schools are not included in the collection.


Contact

Email: Alasdair.Anthony@gov.scot