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Attendance at grant-aided primary, post-primary and special schools 2012/13: Summary statistics

The Department of Education today published statistics on attendance at grant-aided Primary, post-primary and special schools.
Friday, 31 January 2014

Attendance data for the 2012/13 academic year was collected from all grant-aided primary, post-primary and special schools via the school census in October 2013.

The purpose of this statistical first release is to present basic attendance figures for schools for the 2012/13 academic year. It includes information on the levels of absence, type of absence and reason for absence.

A further release containing a more detailed set of tables, including absence by pupil characteristics, will be published by the end of February 2014.

Key Findings

Absence rates

  • While there does not tend to be large variation in absence levels year on year, overall absence was slightly higher in all sectors in 2012/13 than in the previous year.
  • In primary schools in 2012/13, 5.1 per cent of all half days were missed due to absence, comprising 3.7 per cent authorised and 1.4 per cent unauthorised absence. This represents an increase on 2011/12, when overall absence accounted for 4.8 per cent of the total half days (3.4 per cent authorised and 1.3 per cent unauthorised).
  • In post-primary schools in 2012/13, 7.1 per cent of all half days were missed due to absence, 4.5 per cent was authorised absence and 2.6 per cent was unauthorised absence. In 2011/12, overall absence represented 7.0 per cent of the total half days, 4.4 per cent authorised and 2.6 per cent unauthorised. As with primary schools, the figures show a slight increase in absence levels on the previous year for overall and authorised absence, while unauthorised absence has remained the same.
  • In special schools, 10.8 per cent of all half days were missed due to absence in 2012/13, comprising 7.4 per cent authorised and 3.4 per cent unauthorised absence. These figures show an increase in overall, authorised and unauthorised absence since 2011/12, when levels were 9.8 per cent, 6.5 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively.
  • The full report can be accessed on the DE website.

Notes to editors

  1. The 2012/13 figures in this statistical release are based on school census information as at 11 October 2013. They may be subject to minor revision and these will be notified in accordance with our revisions policy. This can be accessed on the DE website.
    The data is produced at aggregate level only therefore individual pupils cannot be identified. More information on confidentiality can be found in the DE Confidentiality and Access Statement at the DE website
  2. Requests for further information should be addressed to:
    Helen Irwin
    Statistics and Research Branch
    Department of Education
    Rathgael House
    Balloo Road
    Co. Down
    BT19 7PR
    Telephone: 028 9127 9816
    Fax: 028 9127 9594
    Special analyses of the attendance information can be undertaken on request.
  3. DE Statistical Releases can be accessed on the DE website under the Statistics and Research section.
  4. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.