New figures have revealed the number of unauthorised absences at schools in Sutton.

In 2024, many schools started their spring term on the same week as New Years Day.

Data shows that unauthorised absences across these schools were highest in Sutton during this first week back after Christmas - the week commencing January 1.

During that week, the absence rate for Sutton primary schools was on average 1.99 per cent, while it was 2.14 per cent in Sutton secondary schools, and 4.19 per cent in special schools.

As of February 5, the absence rate for Sutton primary schools has dropped to 1.45 per cent, while it’s risen to 2.52 and 4.4 per cent in secondary and special schools respectively.

Sutton has had the least amount of unauthorised absences in South London with an overall average of 2.18 per cent, while Croydon had the most amount with an average of 2.3 per cent.

These figures are automatically submitted to the Department of Education (DfE) by participating schools.

The figures also relate to the attendance of pupils in state-funded primary, secondary, and special schools in England for the current academic year (2023/24) from September 11 to February 9, 2024.

An unauthorised absence refers to a child's absence from school without proper permission or justification, which can result in penalties, such as fines.

There are many reasons why parents might take their children out of school in the middle of the school year, with one being to avoid peak holiday costs.