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Professional Resources

Pupil Services: Children Missing Education

Identifying and maintaining contact with children missing, or at risk of going missing, from education.

The process of tracking pupils without an educational placement is part of our collective responsibility and ongoing commitment to safeguarding the welfare of children and young people.

It is vital that anyone who becomes aware that a child is not, or does not appear to be receiving education, notifies the CME team.

Referral Forms

How we identify and monitor children missing education

The CME team will:

  • Receive and process referrals from an individual and/or agency
  • Track and monitor Leicestershire children who are missing, or at risk of missing, education
  • Run a variety of reports from the pupil database (e.g. children who have become statutory school age and do not have a school place)
  • Track and monitor children and young people who leave the county without a forwarding school
  • Refer onto other services as appropriate e.g. Children’s Social Care

Early years children missing education

There is no national guidance for children of non-statutory school age. Our best practice guidance is developed in line with the statutory guidance for local authorities on children missing education (DfE 2015) to ensure clear processes are in place for all children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS):

Guidance for schools    Opens new window

Guidance for early years providers   

Early Years CME Referral Form

Children most at risk of missing education

Some of the most at-risk groups are:

  • Children under the supervision of the youth justice system
  • Families fleeing domestic violence
  • Homeless families, perhaps living in temporary accommodation, houses of multiple occupancy or Bed and Breakfast
  • Runaways 
  • Families involved in anti-social behaviour
  • Children affected by substance and/or alcohol misuse 
  • Unaccompanied asylum seekers; children of refugees and asylum seeking families
  • New immigrant families, who are not yet established in the UK & may not have fixed addresses
  • Migrant worker families (who may not be familiar with the education system)
  • Families who can be highly mobile, eg parents in the armed forces, Gypsy, Roma and traveller families
  • Home educated children not receiving suitable tuition
  • Children who have been bullied
  • Children who have suffered discrimination on the grounds of race, faith, gender, disability or sexuality
  • At risk of sexual exploitation, including children who have been trafficked to, or within the UK
  • At risk of ‘honour’ based violence including forced marriage or female genital mutilation
  • Looked after children/children in care; 
  • Children who go missing from care
  • Privately fostered
  • Young carers
  • Teenage parents
  • Permanently excluded from school, particularly those excluded unlawfully e.g. for problematic behaviour or offending
  • Parents take them abroad for a prolonged period
  • Registered with a school that has closed, and have not made the transition to another school
  • Parents with mental health problems
  • Parents with learning difficulties
  • Long term medical or emotional problems

Notify the CME Team

Statutory guidance requires all Local Authorities to have a named individual responsible for children missing from education. Contact the CME Team directly or use the Referral Forms (MS Word documents):

Referral form - children missing education 

Referral form - early years children missing education 

Referral form - elective home education (EHE) 

Referral form - children with medical needs 

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