Absence Collection Rules
There are 4 distinct collections of absence data that are returned to the DfE via the pupil census.
- Autumn Census - Summer half term 1 and Summer half term 2
- Spring Census - Autumn term
- Summer Census - Spring term
Absence data will be collected in the census if a pupil meets the following requirements, this includes pupils who attend special schools and pupil referral units.
- The pupil is on roll at the school at any point during the collection period of the census. These dates will vary for the same census each academic year.
- The pupil is between the ages of 4-15 inclusive as of 31 August on the academic year in question
- The pupil has at least one possible attendance session. A pupil could be on roll and dual registered, hence having no possible sessions at one school.
- The pupil is not a boarder.
Absence Statistics Rules
While absence data is collected for all pupils who meet the above requirements, there are restrictions on the analysis released by the DfE and we follow these same rules.
- Absence analysis is per enrolment not per pupil, a pupil who has moved schools during a collection period will be counted twice in aggregated national figures.
- Analysis will be done on 3 distinct terms
- Autumn & Spring
- Full Academic Year
- Absence for pupils who are 4 years old is not included in analysis.
- Absence for pupils who attend a pupil referral unit is not included in analysis.
- Absences recorded in Summer 2 are not included in any analysis for pupils who are 15 years old as at 31 August.
- If a pupil has 0 possible sessions they are excluded from analysis for that period.
- A pupil who first enrolled at a school in Summer 2 will not be included in analysis.
- Non-Statistical absence reason data is excluded from analysis.
- Pupils with more absent sessions than possible sessions are excluded from analysis.
- Absence data from a sponsored academy will be removed if they opened during the term absence was collected.
- We also match characteristic data to enrolments for analysis, we attempt to match to census returns sequentially.
- We will first attempt to match an enrolment to characteristic data in the Autumn census, when we cannot make a match based on UPN, DOB and Gender or the characteristic is not returned in the Autumn census, we move on.
- We then attempt to match an enrolment in the Spring census.
- Finally we will attempt to match in the Summer census.
- An enrolment will be matched to characteristic data once in the academic year so if a pupil does not leave a school, most characteristic data will be matched in the autumn term, with only those characteristics not collected in the autumn census being matched in the spring term.
Here are the calculations we use in Insight absence indicators.
- An enrolment’s overall absence rate is the total number of overall absence sessions as a percentage of the total number of possible sessions available to that enrolment.
- Overall absence is the sum of authorised and unauthorised absence and one session is equal to half a day.
- Only absence codes deemed as statistical will be included as possible sessions and in any absence analysis or calculations.
- To calculate school, local authority and national level overall absence rates, the total absences and possible sessions for all enrolments within the relevant areas are included.
- Authorised and unauthorised absences use the same methodology as overall absence shown above.
- A pupil is classified as a persistent absentee if they miss 10 per cent or more of their own possible sessions. This is based on an unrounded overall absence rate.
- To calculate school, local authority and national level persistent absence rates, all persistently absent enrolments within the relevant areas are included.
- Characteristic data collected via the census is also linked to enrolments and used in Nexus.
- This is an enrolment level match, so matching to census records of a pupil in a given school.
- We attempt to match characteristic data in the following order...
- Autumn census of the academic year the absence was recorded in.
- Spring census
- Summer census
- Autumn census of the following academic year.