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Truancy: Disadvantaged

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 22 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of pupils designated as persistent absentees were entitled to free school meals in the latest period for which figures are available, broken down by school year. (195197)

The requested information is shown in the table.

Primary, secondary and special schools1, 2: Persistent absentees known to be eligible for free school meals by national curriculum year group3 2006-07: England

Of which: known to be eligible for free school meals:

National Curriculum Year Group:

Number of persistent absentees

Percentage of enrolments4

Number of persistent absentees known to be eligible for free schools meals

Percentage of persistent absentees5

1 and below

13,420

2.4

5,690

42.4

2

10,030

1.8

4,490

44.8

3

9,280

1.6

4,140

44.6

4

9,330

1.6

4,140

44.3

5

10,270

1.7

4,580

44.5

6

10,230

1.8

4,560

44.6

7

19,100

3.3

8,410

44.0

8

29,090

4.9

11,610

39.9

9

38,540

6.4

14,310

37.1

10

51,500

8.4

16,670

32.4

11

66,730

11.1

17,080

25.6

12 and above

90

9.7

20

16.9

Total (7)

272,950

4.1

95,760

35.1

1 Includes middle schools as deemed. 2 Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools. Excludes general hospital schools. Includes maintained secondary schools, city technology colleges and academies (including all-through academies). 3 Persistent absentees are defined as having more than 63 sessions of absence (authorised and unauthorised) during the year, typically over 20 per cent. absence rate. 4 Number of persistent absentees expressed as a percentage of the total number of enrolments. 5 The number of persistent absentees known to be eligible for free school meals by year group expressed as a percentage of the number of persistent absentees in same year group. Note: Numbers of enrolments have been rounded to the nearest 10. Source: School Census