The Data

In Sutton we have 66 schools (41 Primary schools, 15 Secondary, 4 special schools, 1 special academy and 1 PRU, 4 independent schools). 17,901 primary aged children and 21,293 secondary age pupils including 6th form 2022/2023 academic year.

Pupil Absence Rates by academic year for London Borough of Sutton

Rates of school absence have increased both locally and nationally following the return to school post the coronavirus pandemic. Department for Education (DfE) data shows that Sutton’s persistent and severe rates of absence have increased.

Comparing the 2018/19 academic year with 2021/22, the total rate of persistent absence has increased from 9.2% to 21%. This means at the end of the academic year 21/22 7,056 pupils were classed as persistently absent i.e., missing 10% or more of their education. In real terms this means these students are missing at least half a day every school week.

Similarly, the total rate of severe absence has also increased. Figures have risen from 0.4% to 1% resulting in 344 pupils classed as severely absent i.e., missing 50% or more of their education. In real terms, this means they are missing 2.5 days every school week.

For both categories this represents an increase of more than 100% over this time period. Looking at the different reasons for absence in Sutton, we have seen a significant increase in illness rates, from 2.4% in 2018/19 to 4.3% in 2021/22 and from unauthorised absences. This is in line with national patterns, which can be seen here.