A pupil with attendance below 90% is classed as persistently absent, even if the absence has been authorised. Pupils taking unauthorised leave of absence early in the academic year could be categorised as persistently absent despite having perfect attendance from their return date onwards.
If a pupil is a persistent absentee:
- they have been absent from school for 10% or more of school time
- in one school year they will have missed 19 whole days or more of school
- in five school years they will have missed 95 days or more of school, which is at least half of a school year in total.
Where a pupil is persistently absent, schools will follow their attendance policies and procedures.