Year 11 absence: GCSE concern as students miss 11% of sessions this year

The attendance of year 11 students has improved slightly this year but is still lagging significantly behind pre-Covid levels, data analysis shows.

Year 11 students are currently sitting their GCSE examinations but data from 2,700 secondary schools in England shows that up until May 19, they have missed 10.9% of possible sessions.

This is an improvement on the year 11 absence rate of 11.7% in the 2021/22 academic year but is still notably worse than the 6.4% absence rate in 2018/19.

The analysis (Beynon, 2023) has been carried out by FFT Education Datalab and comes as we return to pre-pandemic grading for GCSE examinations this year.

However, the analysis does not include the days lost to the National Education Union strike action and suggests that when this lost time is factored in there will be little difference in year 11 absence this year compared to 2021/22.

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