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Special Educational Needs: Attendance

Question for Department for Education

UIN 121858, tabled on 9 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the attendance rate was for children attending alternative provision in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

Answered on

21 February 2022

The department collects data on two types of alternative provision:

  • Local authority maintained establishments providing alternative provision are often referred to as pupil referral units. There are also an increasing number of alternative provision academies and free schools and these are combined in our statistics. This data is collected through the school census.
  • Data on local authority funded alternative provision is collected via the alternative provision census. This includes pupils attending establishments not maintained by a local authority for whom the authority is paying full tuition fees or educated otherwise under arrangements made (and funded) by the authority.

The department publishes the absence rates of pupils attending pupil referral units (including academy and free school alternative provision) at: No absence data is collected for pupils attending local authority funded alternative provision.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, absence data for the full academic year 2019/20 is not available. The full year absence data for 2020/21 will be published on 24 March 2022.

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