Department of Education officials weren’t surprised by yesterday’s Center for New York City Affairs report that elementary school students miss lots of school because absenteeism is “a national problem,” DOE spokeswoman Maibe Gonzalez-Fuentes told me yesterday.

Turns out, the problem is international, too.

In England, the proportion of “persistently absent” primary school children — defined as kids ages 11 and younger who miss more than 20 percent of the school year — has risen recently from less than 2.2 percent to 2.4 percent, the BBC reported this week.

In contrast, 4.5 percent of New York City students in grades K-5 missed 38 days of school or more last year, according to report released yesterday. Thirty-eight school days, by the way, represents about 15 percent of the school year.