Barnsley school attendance is on the up

A recent analysis of school attendance data for the autumn term 2020/21 shows a promising picture for Barnsley schools. Despite it being the first term back following COVID-19 restrictions, attendance rates are up and absence rates have decreased. 

Barnsley primary schools 

Highlights include: 

  • The attendance rate increased to 96.6 per cent in 2020/21, compared to 95.2 per cent in 2019/20. This is above the England average and is the highest in South Yorkshire. 
  • The authorised absence rate decreased by 1.0 percentage points to 2.2 per cent in 2020/21 and was better than the national average. 
  • The unauthorised absence rate decreased to 1.2 per cent in 2020/21 - the lowest it has been since 2016/17. 
  • The persistent absence rate decreased from 14.4 per cent in 2019/20 to 8.7 per cent in 2020/21. National, regional and statistical neighbours averages also decreased, but Barnsley saw a bigger decrease than all three of these measures. 

Barnsley secondary schools 

Highlights include: 

  • The attendance rate increased by 0.3 percentage points in 2020/21 to 94.0 per cent. 
  • The authorised absence rate remained unchanged at 3.4 per cent in 2020/21. 
  • The unauthorised absence rate decreased from 2.9 per cent in 2019/20 to 2.7 per cent in 2020/21. 
  • The persistent absence rate decreased from 18.3 per cent in 2019/20 to 17.0 per cent in 2020/21. 

Cllr Trevor Cave, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “We know that every school day matters and regular school attendance allows young people to develop socially, achieve better grades and access learning and training opportunities. That’s why we’re so pleased to see these results from the 2020/21 autumn term, especially after such a challenging year for our young people and schools. 

“This is a fantastic testament to the hard work children, parents, carers and schools in Barnsley are putting in to make sure every child and young person can achieve their potential.” 

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