Absence among pupils rises, government figures show

School pupils missed more lessons last year, official figures show.

The overall absence rate across state-funded primary and secondary schools increased slightly from 4.4 per cent half-days in autumn/spring 2013-14 to 4.5 per cent in autumn/spring 2014-15, government data indicates.

But the percentage of pupils who are, or may become, persistent absentees decreased slightly, and the amount of unauthorised absence remained unchanged at 0.9 per cent.

Officials said the rise in overall absence was driven by an increase in illness – the most common reason for missing school.

Fewer days were lost from pupils being taken out of school to go on holiday. Family holidays – authorised and unauthorised – accounted for 5.6 per cent of all absences in autumn/spring 2014-15, compared with 6.9 per cent in autumn/spring 2013-14.

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