Relationship between Year 11 absence data and national illness absence data

The collected data seems to indicate an overall trend which correlates roughly with the national data. However, the data for our school seems to be generally lower than that of the national average which could be explained by the attitude to learning here at school. It is assumed that not all ‘ill’ absences for the school are due to illness and may just be an excuse to not going to school. Therefore, with the positive environment here at our school, with pupils who want to be at school to learn and with many having very high aspirations for the future, higher attendance than usual is expected. The highest rate of flu, according to the records of doctor visits, would be over the Christmas holidays however as no pupil is in school it would be very hard to collect data for this timeframe. This two week window, however, would have held very valuable information regarding whether the school’s flu trend is in line with the national prediction.

With lots of snow occurring just after the Christmas holidays, the data may be slightly exaggerated from its true values. Many children from the younger years were ‘ill’ and this could be down to the lack of appeal towards the heavily disrupted journeys but also partly to the fact that the snow is a perfect excuse to be ‘ill’ and not go to school. Also, as more people apply each year to take the entrance exam for our school, the distances people are prepared to travel on a normal day also increase. With the younger years possibly living further away than the older ones, absences due to the snow are expected.

Year 11 experience an unusually low level of absence in November/December and this can be due to the mock exams which would have taken place where absences are harder to track and people come into school to sit the exam when normally, if feeling unwell, they would not have come in.

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One Response to Relationship between Year 11 absence data and national illness absence data

  1. Dr Rob says:

    That’s a very interesting observation that the younger pupils in your school have further to travel and definitely might explain some of the findings.

    I was also wondering: given the positive environment at school, do you think that people might have been delaying going to see a doctor until the school holidays? This might also explain what was seen in the national data across the country if lots of school pupils did this. What do you think?

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