Derbyshire school absences lower than national average


Persistent absences in Derbyshire schools are lower than the national average, according to new figures.

In primary schools in Derbyshire, rates of persistent absence are 2.5% – compared with the national average of 3%.

Persistent absences in Derbyshire secondary schools stand at 6.2%, compared with 6.4% nationally.

Figures released by the Department for Education show that overall absence for primary schools in the county for 2012-13 was 4.5%, compared with the national average of 4.7%.

Overall absences in Derbyshire secondary schools are at the same rate as the national average of 5.8%.

Councillor Jim Coyle, deputy cabinet member for children and young people at Derbyshire County Council, said that the figures were pleasing.

He said: “We’re pleased that the attendance figures for pupils in the county are better than the national average.

“There is a very strong link between attendance and attainment, which is why we work closely with schools to make sure students don’t miss classes and parents and pupils understand how importance regular attendance is.

“We will continue to work together to ensure this downward trend continues because improving attendance is very much a high priority for us.”

Total absences in Derbyshire’s secondary schools have dropped consistently over the last seven years from 7.73% in 2005-06.

Last year, the figure was 5.7% with persistent absenteeism running at 7.4%.

Total absence in Derbyshire primary schools last year was 4.2%, with persistent absence rates at 2.7%. Persistent absence is classed as a child with 85% attendance or less.

This year’s increase in total absences is being put down to a return to more normal levels of sickness among children in autumn 2012 compared with very low levels of sickness in the same period in 2011. However, the trend still remains down, with more children in school more often.

A council spokesman said early indicators for this year show the downward trend continuing for autumn 2013.