Pupil attendance in Walsall “significantly” improving

Following concerns of persistent absence of pupils in schools since the Covid pandemic, latest figures show that attendance is improving in Walsall.

Due to a sharp rise in absentees post-pandemic, the Department for Education issued non-statutory guidance to schools in 2022 to help improve attendance.

This required schools to track attendance data and devise a strategic approach for improvement.

Absentee figures peaked in the 2021/2022 academic year to 29% of children who were considered as persistent absentees (missing 10% or more sessions). The latest confirmed figure shows that the percentage has now decreased to 23.10% for the 2022/23 Autumn/Spring term.

Unpublished figures for the 2023/24 Autumn terms show that the level of persistent absentees stands at 22.49%, a further decrease year-on-year.*

A national government campaign was launched earlier this year with the strapline “moments matter, attendance counts” to further increase awareness to parents and children about the importance of attending school.

*This is currently an estimated figure until officially published.

Source: Education and Overview Scrutiny Committee minutes