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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%.

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