School attendance in Wiltshire is still below pre-pandemic levels, according to figures presented to councillors in the most recent Children’s Select Committee meeting.

The Department for Education’s pupil attendance and absence data from the autumn term has revealed that Wiltshire school attendance is at 93.6 per cent.

This is slightly above the national rate (93.4 per cent), as well as the rate for the South West region (92.9 per cent).

Whilst discussing the report, Kathryn Davis, interim director for education and skills, said: “At the end of the autumn term, attendance of children in Wiltshire was above the national and south west rates.

“However, we are not complacent because our attendance rates are not anywhere near where they were before the Covid pandemic.”

The rate of pupil attendance in Wiltshire before the pandemic was 95.28 per cent.

Illness remains the main reason given for pupils’ absences from school, which is the case nationally as well as in Wiltshire.

Nevertheless, it was noted that elective home education - parents choosing to take their children out of school to teach them at home – has seen a “significant increase” in the county since the pandemic.

Ms Davis said that in many cases, this was a “positive and proactive lifestyle choice”, but confirmed that the Education Welfare Service monitors these decisions and can follow up in the event of concerns.