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No.9: Children missing from education


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What do we mean by children missing from education?

All children of compulsory school age (5-16  years) who are not  on a school roll, being educated otherwise (e.g. at home, privately, or in alternative provision) and who have been out of educational provision for a substantial period of time (usually agreed as four weeks or more).

The law relating to children missing education

The Government has placed a duty on Local Authorities (LA) to make arrangements to establish the identities of children in their area who are of compulsory school age and not receiving a suitable education.
In accordance with Amendments made to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006, all schools are required to notify the Local Authority when removing pupils from school roll.

Significance of being a child missing from education

Children not receiving a suitable education are at increased risk of a range of negative outcomes that could have long term damaging consequences for their life chances.

Why do children go missing from school?

There are a number of reasons including:

  • They don’t start school at the appropriate time so they do not enter the educational system
  • They are removed by their parents due to problems at school, disinterest or poor attendance
  • They fail to find a suitable school place after moving to a new area
  • The family move home regularly
  • There are problems at home


What should school staff do?

In cases where the school does not know the future destination of the child or their whereabouts is unknown the Children Missing Education Form (CME1) should be completed and sent to the ONE Team.

In cases where there are safeguarding concerns the CME Team should also be informed, (providing as much information as possible) so they can be prioritised. Contact details can be found on CME1.

Further information

Key Contacts and Leads
Children Missing Education team
Professional Lead: Emma Hitchins –
CME Officer: Georgina Bennett –
Tel: 01392 287230

For further information see children missing education.