Although unexplained absences have remained stable, overall absence figures are lower than the previous year due to a drop in sickness and term-time holidays.
Schools minister Nick Gibb said: “Whatever the reason for a child’s absence from school, the data shows that when children miss a substantial part of the school term their academic achievement suffers permanently.”
Illness accounts for the biggest percentage of school absences, making up 58% of all school days missed. Fortunately this figure is down from 2010, where 15.2 million days were lost to sickness in just one term.
Less parents are taking their children out of school for cheaper, term-time holidays, suggesting that schools are simply refusing parents’ requests to excuse their children from classes, which something that can severely impact a child’s learning.
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