Pupils missing out on education and children missing education

In Leicestershire our focus is on both ‘Pupils missing out on education’ and ‘Children missing from education’. 

The process of tracking pupils at risk of missing from education is part of our collective responsibility and ongoing commitment to safeguarding the welfare of children and young people.

Pupils Missing out on Education (PME)

Pupils missing out on education (PME) are children of compulsory school age who may be on the roll of a school or setting but aren't accessing full-time education - either in school or in alternative provision.

There may be a range of legitimate reasons why a child may miss out on education such - for example non-attendance due to medical needs - and is it the role of the Inclusion service to track and monitor the reasons for this to ensure that the educational offer is appropriate for the child and help to co-ordinate additional support where required.

Part-time education and timetables

The Department of Education, school attendance guidance 2019, states that part-time timetables cannot be used, as all pupils of compulsory school age are entitled to a full-time education.

In very exceptional circumstances, schools are permitted to provide less than a full-time education, including placing a pupil on a part-time timetable. This shouldn't be treated as a long-term plan and an end date, when the child will return to school, must be given and reviewed.

If a reduced timetable is considered for pupils missing out on education, schools are required to inform the Inclusion service to make them aware of the arrangements. This is usually provided within the monthly PME return for schools, or where there are concerns around the arrangements schools can make a referral via the Inclusion Service referral form.

Support available for pupils missing out on education

There can be many barriers for why children may not attend school and there are a number of services that can support schools and professionals who work with children and need extra help in regards to safeguarding, special educational needs, health, wellbeing and behaviour management.

ADHD Solutions – provides support for children, young people and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Specialist Teaching Service - provides free support and advice for schools and families about specific areas of SEND including support with hearing, vision, learning, Autism and assistive technology for education.

Specialist health services, such as Public Health and Healthy Schools – provide support from universal and targeted health care services

Multi Agency Travellers Unit (MATU) - Gypsy and Traveller services aiming to enhance quality of life and provide access to health and education services

Inclusion forums - offer support for schools to enable all children and young people to engage effectively in education and training, including support from Oakfield Short Stay School, Leicestershire Secondary Education and Inclusion Partnerships and other agencies attending the forums.

Leicestershire Virtual School - support for Looked After Children – support offered to Early Years settings, families, schools, carers and social workers to improve education of children in care

Educational psychology service - providing information for parents and carers, young people and children about how the Leicestershire educational psychology service can support inclusion and learning, wellbeing, and positive futures for all.

Family Help Service - provide early help services to families, where they're experiencing difficulties that can't be supported by universal services such as schools or GPs alone.

The Professionals Service Directory provides a list of emotional, mental health and wellbeing services that are available across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and how to access them.

School to school outreach support for children with SEND

Using the knowledge and skills of teachers working within special schools, and their experiences of working with children and young people with complex needs, the schools offer support to children in mainstream settings with complex SEND needs. There are 6 schools that offer localised support:

Dorothy Goodman

Ashmount School

Forest Way School

Birch Wood Special School

Birkett House School

Maplewell Hall School

Children missing education

In Leicestershire, we identify children missing education as children who are on roll but not attending a school or an educational setting, and children who are not on the roll of a school.

It is vital that anyone who becomes aware that a child isn't or doesn't appear to be receiving education, notifies the Inclusion Service. You'll need to ensure that you have completed a checklist of actions, prior to submitting a referral form, both of which are found on the Get advice or make a referral to the Inclusion service page.

All schools monitor pupil attendance and as part of their duty, must inform the local authority of children who are regularly absent from school, or have missed 10 days without permission (or less if there are safeguarding concerns). Schools in Leicestershire can do this by contacting or referring to the Inclusion Service or if pursuing an attendance order by contacting the Pupil Service Court Team - more information can be found on the school attendance page.

Removing a child from school roll

All schools including maintained, academy and independent, are required to notify the Inclusion Team when they remove a child from a school roll, giving information of the reason for why the child is being deleted and providing any necessary details to help us to confirm the child’s future educational placement. Please complete the:

Record absence data - online form

If the forwarding information is not available, we would ask that schools contact the Inclusion service directly by calling 0116 305 2071.

Deletion from admissions register

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):

Further reading