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Pupils: Absenteeism

Question for Department for Education

UIN 35614, tabled on 19 July 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 9 July 2021 to Question 25811, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a statutory obligation on local authorities to (a) collate and (b) submit data on student absenteeism to central Government.

Answered on

23 July 2021

It is a statutory requirement that all schools, including independent schools, have an admission register and, with the exception of schools where all pupils are boarders, an attendance register.

As the responsibility for collating and maintaining the attendance register sits with schools, and it would not be possible for local authorities to perform that function without first getting the data from schools, the statutory requirement to collate and submit data on student absenteeism to the Department also sits with schools.

Local authorities are granted full access to student absenteeism data provided by schools to the Department via the school census for all schools in their geographical area and, for local authority maintained schools, are asked to check and validate the data before it is accepted by the Department.

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