attendance

Almost one in four primary pupils were in school last week, with attendance rates among younger pupils now six times higher than in the first lockdown.

Data published by the Department for Education today shows primary school attendance reached 24 per cent on February 11, up from 23 per cent the week before.

Attendance rates at primary have been rising steadily since the beginning of term, while secondary attendance rates have remained static at around 5 per cent for the past month. Special school attendance was at 35 per cent on February 11, the same as the previous week.

Average attendance between March and May last year was around 4 per cent for primary schools and 1 per cent in secondary schools.

Schools have been closed to all but the most vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers since January 5. But primary leaders have reported having to cap attendance as more pupils have become eligible and parents struggle to balance home learning with work.

Overall, around 16 per cent of pupils across all phases were attending school last week, roughly the same as the week before. Attendance of critical workers and vulnerable pupils also remained at around the same level, the DfE said.

Attendance figures for teachers and leaders (38 per cent) and teaching assistants and other staff (54 per cent) remained roughly the same on February 11 as the previous week.

The proportion of teachers and leaders unable to work on February 11 for Covid-related reasons was 1 per cent, down from 2 per cent the previous week. The proportion of TAs and other staff unable to work due to Covid also fell, from 3 per cent to 2 per cent.

Around 4 per cent of teachers and leaders and 6 per cent of TAs and other staff were unable to work for other reasons last week, the same as the previous week.