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Children missing more days at schools in Northern Ireland

By Rebecca Black

Absence rates at schools across Northern Ireland have risen, according to the latest data.

Primary school attendance during the last academic year was 95.4%, and a slightly lower 93.4% at post-primary. The rate at special schools was 90%.

Most of the absences were authorised, but a number were not.

In primary schools, 3.5% of the absences were authorised and 1.1% otherwise. In post-primary schools the rate was 4.5% and 2.1% respectively. And at our special schools the figures were 6.7% and 3.1%.

The Department of Education said the figures tended to be fairly similar each year.

But a spokesman added that, compared to the previous academic year, there had been a slight rise in the number of authorised absences. However, the number of unauthorised absences was marginally lower.

The most common reason for non-attendance across all schools was illness (63.9%), which is categorised as an authorised absence.

Some of the other reasons included medical appointments, family holidays, bereavement, artistic endeavour, suspension and religious holidays.

Belfast Telegraph


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