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Pupils: Absenteeism

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL10916, tabled on 30 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of secondary school absence rates on pupil attainment.

Answered on

14 December 2020

The department has published a report on the link between absence and attainment at Key Stage 4, available at: The report found that as overall absence levels increase the average percentage of pupils achieving different levels of attainment at the end of KS4 decreases. The relevance of the findings to COVID-19 non-attendance is unclear as pupils who are absent from school as needing to self-isolate should have access to some online education, but this will vary across subjects, schools, and pupils.

We have commissioned an independent research and assessment agency to provide a baseline assessment of catch-up needs for pupils in schools in England and monitor progress over the course of the year to help us target support across the system, which is currently ongoing.