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Press and Media contacts:

Rose Tremlett
Interim head of press 
07545 354363

Tom Niblett
Press officer
07970 907730

Email: press.office@naht.org.uk 


Early data from NAHT shows 91-100 per cent pupil and staff attendance in most schools

Today (Fri 4 Sept) NAHT, the union which represents leaders in the majority of schools, has published data to provide a snapshot of school attendance in first week of the autumn term.

NAHT sent out a survey to its members on 3rd September to be completed on their first day in order to collect accurate data about actual school attendance.

On the morning of Friday 4th September, NAHT had received 849 responses. 

Early analysis shows that 99.7 per cent of schools have re-opened at the start of the autumn term 2020. Of these schools, 92 per cent of leaders reported pupil attendance of 81 per cent or higher with 82 per cent of leaders reporting attendance of 91-100 per cent.

Paul Whiteman, NAHT’s general secretary said: “It’s great to see that so many young people are back in the classroom, with their teachers and with their friends. School leaders and their teams worked incredibly hard over the summer to get ready for the new term. Despite the government’s U-turns and last minute changes, schools have stuck to their task and their efforts have clearly given confidence to parents and families.”

The top three reasons reported by school leaders for the small percentage of pupils not attending school on the first day were:

  • Pupils are quarantining following a trip abroad (57 per cent)
  • Pupils are still away on holiday (50 per cent)
  • Pupils are unwell (non-coronavirus related) (41 per cent)

Only one in five (21 per cent) school leaders said that they had a pupil in their school who did not attend because their parents felt too anxious to send their child to school.

One in five (20 per cent) school leaders said they had a pupil in their school who did not attend on the first day because they are self-isolating following exposure to coronavirus.

NAHT also asked about staff attendance, and98 per cent of school leaders stated that 91-100 per cent of their teaching staff attended on the first day of the autumn term 2020.An overwhelming majority (84 per cent) said they had seen no difference in teaching staff absence on the first day of term compared with previous years.

Mr Whiteman concluded: “This is a remarkable achievement, but we should not take anything for granted because we know that restrictions may well be likely as we get deeper into this term. What’s important is that the government gives very clear messages to schools and parents from now on so that attendance can remain high.

“Obviously for some, the anxiety of coronavirus means that they do not feel able to send their children to school. Schools will work compassionately with these families, and they should not be shamed or fined, which is why we are re-stating our appeal to the government to take the threat of fines off the table. These figures show that it’s an unnecessary sanction.

“Of course, these stats reveal the mainstream picture. We will be publishing more data in due course about the situation in special schools, where there are undeniably more challenges to overcome, and where the government guidance has been even less useful than it has been in the mainstream.”


Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

Email : press.office@naht.org.uk

First published 04 September 2020