London, The Gulf Observer: Pupil absences are more than 60 percent higher than before the pandemic in United Kingdom, despite the Education Secretary’s plea for children to return to school.
One in 50 pupils in state schools in England was absent without permission in the first month of the new school term, according to Department for Education figures.
The unauthorised absence rate of 2.1 per cent was up from 1.3 per cent in autumn 2019 and 1.8 per cent last year. The figures exclude children missing school because of illness.
The high rate of unauthorised absence comes despite Gillian Keegan urging pupils to return to school in September.
A record proportion of secondary pupils missed at least a month of school in the last academic year, with research suggesting that post-Covid, parents no longer believe that ensuring a child’s daily attendance at school is fundamental to good parenting.
Department for Education statistics show that in reading, 68 per cent of seven-year-olds pupils tested at the end of Year 2 met expected standards. This was slightly up from 67 per cent last year, but down from 75 per cent in 2019.
Writing tests show that 60 per cent of seven-year-olds are meeting expected standards, up from 58 per cent last year, but down from 69 per cent in 2019.