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Volume 507: debated on Wednesday 17 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in how many (a) primary and (b) secondary schools more than (i) 10, (ii) 20, (iii) 30 and (iv) 40 per cent. of pupils were classified as persistent absentees in (A) 1997 and (B) the latest year for which figures are available. (316074)

[holding answer 5 February 2010]: Information on persistent absentees is not available for 1997. The latest available information for 2007-08 is shown in the table.

Primary1 and secondary1,2 schools: Number of schools by the percentage of persistent absentees3,4, 2007-08, England

Number of schools

Percentage of school enrolments who are persistent absentees5,6:

Primary schools1

Secondary schools1,2

More than 10%



More than 20%



More than 30%



More than 40%



1 Includes middle schools as deemed.

2 Includes maintained secondary schools, city technology colleges and academies (including all-through academies).

3 Includes schools with at least one enrolment aged between five and 15.

4 Persistent absentees are defined as having 64 or more sessions of absence (authorised and unauthorised) during the year, typically over 20 per cent. overall absence rate.

5 The number of persistent absentees expressed 86 a percentage of the total number of enrolments.

6 Those schools counted in the ‘more than 40 per cent.’ category are also included in all the lower categories. Similarly, for the ‘more than 30 per cent.’ and ‘more than 20 per cent.’ categories.


School Census