The number of pupils off school in Scotland as a result of the Covid pandemic has fallen in the seven days since last week's high point following the summer break, the latest figures show.
Some 28,051 pupils (a provisional figure that may be updated shortly) were off school on Tuesday 14 September for Covid-19 related reasons, down from 40,818 the previous Tuesday (7 September) and 35,652 the week before (31 August). On Tuesday 24 August, just after the return from the summer break, the figure was 16,166.
The official attendance and absence data for the new school year started being recorded on Thursday 19 August, when 7,435 pupils were absent as a result of the pandemic.
Also today: Return of school inspections a 'retrograde step'
Class-contact time: Teaching time higher than average – even with cut
Overall, the attendance rate on Tuesday 14 September was 88.1 per cent (it was 86.2 per cent a week previously), with 7.8 per cent of pupils recorded as being off for non-Covid reasons and 4.1 per cent recorded as being off because of any Covid-related reasons.
Fewer pupils absent from school because of Covid
On 19 August – when attendance and absence data for the current school year was recorded for the first time – the attendance rate was 95 per cent. The annual attendance rate in 2018-19, the last full year before Covid, was 93 per cent.
Pupils from more deprived backgrounds were more likely to be absent on Tuesday of this week. In the five levels recorded using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD), those in quintile 1 ("most deprived") had an attendance rate of 85.2 per cent and those in quintile 5 ("least deprived") had an attendance rate of 90.7 per cent.