Middlesbrough is the local authority area with the highest number of persistent secondary school absentees in the country – 11.3%, an increase of 1% on last year.
The North East is the region with the highest rate of overall absences (4.8%) at both primary and secondary level, topping the national average of 4.5%. There has been a slight increase at primary level across the region in overall absences (from 4.0% to 4.1%) and persistent absentee numbers (from 2.7% to 3.0%).
Based on the statistics released by the Department for Education for the period between Autumn 2014 and Spring 2015, a slight increase in absence rates is notable across all areas since last year, after having followed a general downward trend since 2006/07.
Contrary to the regional picture, the DfE states that the percentage of pupils who are, or may become, persistent absentees across both primary and secondary schools has decreased nationally by 0.2 percentage points since Autumn/Spring 2014/15.
Pupils are considered persistent absentees when they have missed 38 or more sessions.