Being frequently absent from school is not only likely to affect achievement but is also an indicator that there may be other difficulties, either at home or at school, that need to be urgently addressed. Vulnerable and disadvantaged children are particularly at risk of becoming persistent absentees.
The persistent absence rate for those eligible for free school meals (FSM) is 21.6 per cent – more than twice the rate for those pupils not eligible for FSM. Also the persistent absence rate of those with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or Statement of SEN (24.3 per cent) is three times the figure for those with no identified SEN (DfE, 2019).
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