Children missing education

The Education and Inspection Act 2006 defines children of compulsory school age missing education when they are not on a school roll, and are not receiving a suitable education elsewhere, for example, at home, privately or in alternative provision.

Children can miss education for various reasons, if they -

  • don’t start school at Reception age
  • don’t transfer up to secondary school
  • are excluded from school and don’t take up alternative provision
  • parents who home educate children are found not be providing a suitable education
  • move to a different local authority or country
  • arrive in the country via asylum, refugee status or as an EU national

If a child goes missing from education your child’s school has a responsibility to make enquiries to find out where they are.  Parents or carers must inform the school if the child(ren) - 

  • move
  • emigrate
  • return late from a family holiday
  • decide to home educate
  • privately educate

Child(ren) are classed as a child missing education until you -

  • inform the school that they are leaving
  • explain why they have not returned to school
  • explain what education provision they are to receive

To avoid your child(ren) being regarded as a child missing education -

  • always give your child(ren)’s school your forwarding details and information on the new school if you migrate
  • provide full details of the private school your child(ren) is to transfer to before they leave
  • inform the school, in writing, if you decide to home educate your child(ren)