Nearly 40 per cent of pupils missed school today due to strike action, with the majority of students at three in five secondaries staying at home, new data reveals.
Attendance data shared exclusively with Schools Week shows 39 per cent of students at 3,300 primary, secondary and special schools were absent today because of strike disruption.
Teachers in thousands of schools walked out after National Education Union members voted to strike and crunch talks with government failed to find a resolution.
If school management information system operator Arbor Education’s attendance data was extrapolated nationwide, it equates to 3.2 million pupils missing school because of strikes.
The Department for Education is expected to publish its own figures on how many schools closed later today. Those figures may differ to Arbor’s due to differences in how data is collected.
Arbor’s data – which is nationally representative – shows nearly 10 per cent of schools were fully closed. Nearly 30 per cent reported more than half of students were at home.
Secondary schools were more likely to be closed (16 per cent shut totally and 57 per cent with majority at home) compared to primaries (9 per cent and 25 per cent respectively).
Teenagers were also more likely to be absent – 60 per cent of secondary pupils were off compared to 28 per cent in primary.
However, 56 per cent of all schools were unaffected with no students absent due to strikes.
Across 300 special schools, 6 per cent were closed completely, with 20 per cent reporting most students were at home. Thirty per cent of students were marked as absent due to strike action.
‘Third of schools had over half of teachers on strike’
Education secretary Gillian Keegan said this morning a DfE survey and “ring around” schools showed the “majority” would be open, but some will have restrictions for different cohorts.
A survey of 948 headteachers by school leaders’ union ASCL found 97 per cent reporting teachers were on strike today. More than a third – 35 per cent – said half of teachers walked-out.
Of 920 schools and sixth-form colleges where teachers were on strike, nine per cent were completely shut and 80 per cent were partially closed.
Most schools (86 per cent) that were shut, or partially, provided work for students to do at home, while 81 per cent had onsite provision for vulnerable students.
When asked how on-site provision was being maintained, 41 per cent said combined classes, 48 per cent used support staff and 29 per cent used supply staff.