Publication Types:

Socioeconomic disparities in school absenteeism after the first wave of COVID-19 school closures in Scotland

Research brief
Edward Sosu, Markus Klein
Research Report. University of Strathclyde
Publication year: 2021

Key Points

  • Student absences after the first wave of Covid-19 school closures were higher than in previous years
  • Higher rates of absenteeism after school lockdown were due to COVID-19 related reasons
  • Overall, non-Covid-19-related absence rates are similar to trends observed in earlier years
  • Socioeconomic inequalities in school absenteeism were higher post-lockdown than in previous years
  • This increase can be attributed to rising disparities in school absenteeism due to Covid-19-related and non-Covid-19 reasons
  • The rise in socioeconomic inequality in non-Covid-19related absenteeism was not only due to higher absence rates among students from the most deprived areas but also due to lower absence rates among students from the least deprived areas
  • Addressing the disproportionate short- and long-term¬† impact of the pandemic on the most vulnerable children needs to be at the forefront of policy agenda
  • We need greater monitoring and evaluation of
    • inequalities in home learning during the second round of school closures
    • inequalities in academic achievement after school reopening
    • policy interventions designed to mitigate the consequences of Covid-19 on achievement gaps.