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Rose Tremlett
Interim head of press 
07545 354363

Tom Niblett
Press officer
07970 907730

Email: press.office@naht.org.uk 

 

NAHT comments on government’s school attendance data from start of term

Commenting on new data released today by the government showing levels of pupil and staff absence at the start of term, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“The figures released by the government today support NAHT’s own survey findings, showing that staff absence on the first days of term last week was significant. Schools are doing a brilliant job to keep things going in the face of very challenging circumstances, but it is very far from business as usual. And the concern is that the situation could worsen over the coming weeks.

“A small, but growing, minority of schools are already experiencing teaching staff absences of more than 20%, and the government itself is planning for 25% staff absence rates. While schools will do everything they can to manage the situation, there is a reality that needs to be acknowledged here. There is no escaping the fact that if a school has a quarter of its workforce off, that will have a significant impact on education.

“School leaders will be making decisions on a case by case basis, based on the unique circumstances they find themselves in. What’s important is that they are trusted to make these decisions in the best interests of their pupils and staff."

First published 11 January 2022