Attendance rates continue to rise as proportion of reopened schools flatlines

The proportion of schools that have reopened more widely has flatlined, but pupil attendance has continued to rise, new figures show.

The Department for Education estimates that 88 per cent of primary schools and 75 per cent of secondary schools were open to at least one of the returning year groups as of last Thursday, a change from 89 per cent and 74 per cent respectively the previous week.

Ministers asked primary schools to reopen to reception, year 1 and year 6 pupils from June 1, and secondary schools to begin some face-to-face support of year 10 and 12 pupils from June 15.

Although the proportion of settings reopening to these year groups had been rising steadily, figures for both stages have now been roughly the same since June 22, with some variations on certain days of the week.

However, pupil attendance in open settings has continued to rise in most year groups.

As of last Thursday, 48.6 per cent of year 6 pupils were in attendance in open schools, up from 44.5 per cent the week before. At the same time, 43.6 per cent of reception pupils and 41.3 per cent of year 1 were in attendance, up from 39.5 per cent and 37.1 per cent respectively.

In open secondary schools, 16.3 per cent of year 10 pupils were in attendance last Thursday, up from 15.7 per cent the week before. However, the proportion of year 12 pupils attending open settings actually fell from 15.2 per cent on June 25 to 14.7 per cent on July 2.

However, these figures represent open schools only.

Once the figures are adjusted to take account of the whole pupil population, the government estimates that 39.6 per cent of reception, 37.5 per cent of year 1 and 44.2 per cent of year 6 pupils were in school last Thursday.

And based on the total pupil population, 13.7 per cent of year 10s and 12.2 per cent of year 12s were in on the same date.

The DfE estimates that 1,599,000 pupils, or around 16.9 per cent of the total pupil population, were attending schools and colleges in England on July 2, up from 15.6 per cent on June 25.

The number of school staff attending has also continued to rise. As of July 2, there were 271,000 teaching staff and 374,000 non-teaching staff in attendance, up from 261,000 and 356,000 the previous week.