Children Missing Education

Do you know a Child Missing Education?

What a Child Missing Education means:

A child ‘Missing Education’ is a child of compulsory school age who is NOT a registered pupil at a school and is NOT receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school (e.g. home educated or receiving paid for tuition)

Section 436A of the Education Act 1996 (amended – Education and Inspections Act 2006) requires all local authorities to make arrangements to enable them to establish (so far as it is possible to do so) the identities of children residing in their area who are not receiving a “suitable education”. We stand a better chance of ensuring a child’s safety if we know how and where they are receiving their education.

By “suitable education” we mean efficient full-time education suitable to the child’s age. Children Missing Education should NOT be confused with:

  • children who are on roll at a school but are not in regular attendance. In this case, referrals should be made to the Education Welfare Service, or the school’s Attendance and Welfare Officer
  • children who are receiving Home Education (known as Elective Home Education)
  • children whose parents have applied for a school place, and the application is being dealt with via the Admissions Procedures

How to inform us about a child that’s not receiving suitable education and is not on a school roll:

SCHOOLS must complete the below prior to any referral:

  • Check there are grounds for removing the child from roll (as listed in Children Missing in Education 2016 Annex A) and no onward education destination is known
  • Basic Reasonable checks have been completed to establish whereabouts or destination please include all details of telephone and email contacts, home visits, contact with schools of known siblings and contact with any other agencies involved with the child.
  • Inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead of this referral
  • Schools do not complete if the child left the UK permanently with no additional safeguarding concerns AND if satisfied with travel details, new address and/or new school
  • Schools must also complete the statutory off-roll notification form

If the child may be at risk of significant harm and if you have immediate concerns for a child, please contact the police. If you wish to speak to a Social Worker for general advice or make a referral to Children’s First Contact Service contacted on:

  • (09:00-17:00 Mon-Fri) 0208 770 6001
  • (Outside of above hours Mon-Fri) please contact the police and then the after-hours duty service on 020 8770 5000
  • (Weekends/Bank Holidays) please contact the police
  • Non secure email (please password protect documents):

Please refer to the CME protocol, which can be found on this page, for more information.