Almost a third of Islington’s secondary school pupils have been persistently absent, council data shows

School uniform

Photograph: Department for Education

Almost a third of pupils in Islington’s secondary schools have been persistently absent from school, new data from Islington Council has revealed.

Persistent absence is described as when a pupil misses more then 10 per cent of school.

In Islington, this applied to 29.2 per cent of secondary school pupils in the third quarter of the 2022/23 academic year.

This is above the average of 24.4 per cent for inner London and was up from 26.5 per cent in the previous year.

The rate of persistent absence has also increased in Islington’s primary schools, with just over a fifth of students having an attendance rate of below 90 per cent.

Back in November, children’s services scrutiny committee data revealed that most children are persistently absent due to “emotionally based school avoidance” (ESBA), with female pupils most affected.

Committee chair Cllr Sheila Chapman described ESBA as one of the most critical post-pandemic issues affecting Islington’s children.

EBSA is defined by Royal Free Children’s Hospital as “a broad umbrella term used to describe children and young people who have difficulty in attending school due to emotional needs.”