There was a significant rise in absences in the first full school year following lockdowns.
That is according to attendance figures for the 2021/22 academic year published by the Department of Education (DE).
Lockdowns due to the pandemic disrupted the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years with many pupils not in school for extended periods.
But absence rates from schools were higher in 2021/22 than during the pandemic or the year before it.
The 2021/22 attendance statistics in Northern Ireland show that almost 10% of school days were missed by pupils due to absence.
By comparison, the absence rates in 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 were all around 6%.