25th January 2022

EPI responds to new DfE figures on pupil absence

Today [Tuesday 25 January] the Department for Education has published new data on attendance in education and early years settings.

The new figures show that around 415,000 pupils in state-funded schools in England did not attend school for Covid-related reasons on 20 January, up from 315,000 on 6 January. 

Commenting on the school attendance figures, Natalie Perera, Chief Executive of the Education Policy Institute (EPI) said: 

“While there are signs that the current wave of Covid may be slowing, today’s pupil absence data show that the disruption to schools is far from over. 

“Our research has found an association between pupil absence from school and higher learning losses, so the considerable rise of 100,000 pupils absent is a cause for great concern. 

“The government must continue to closely follow pupil absences this term and consider whether it needs to target additional financial support to pupils who have been out of school the most. It must also keep its approach to summer exams under review, and ensure that the current adjustments in place for pupils are a proportionate response to the disruption they’ve faced.