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Government removes absence data

The Government has been forced to take down official statistics on the numbers of pupils missing lessons after a blunder meant a number of schools were left out of the figures.

The data, published by the Department for Education (DfE), had shown the absence rates in state primary and secondary schools in the autumn term of last year.

But the DfE later announced that the figures, which appeared to show a trend towards pupils missing fewer lessons, needed to be withdrawn as they were based on an incomplete set of data.

It insisted that the overall trend in absence rates should not change and that revised figures are expected to be published next week.

A DfE spokesman said: " The release has been removed while an error in the reported data is investigated and we will issue a revised version as soon as possible.

"We do not expect the error to have a significant impact on the rates of absence or the main trends quoted, although it will change the number of pupils reported in the release. This relates to a number of schools being incorrectly excluded from the dataset."

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