School attendance and absence

Children missing education

All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to an efficient, full-time education which is suitable to their -

  • age
  • ability
  • aptitude
  • any special educational needs they may have

Children missing education are children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school. Children missing education are at significant risk of -

  • underachieving
  • being victims of harm
  • exploitation
  • radicalisation
  • becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later in life

The CME service is available for referrals when a child is absent from school and their whereabouts is unknown or that a child is not on a school roll and there does not seem to be any education in place.

Anyone with a concern that a child is missing education can make a referral to our service.

The role of the Local Authority

Local authorities have a duty under section 436A of the Education Act 1996 to make arrangements to establish the identities of children in their area who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise. This duty only relates to children of compulsory school age.

In Hull, the safety and wellbeing of our most vulnerable children is paramount. If you have concerns regarding a child missing education, complete the children missing education referral form.

The role of schools

If your child goes missing from education, your child’s school has a responsibility to make enquiries to find out where they are. Schools must enter pupils on the admission register at the beginning of the first day on which the school has agreed, or been notified, that the pupil will attend the school. If a pupil fails to attend on the agreed or notified date, the school should undertake reasonable enquiries to establish the child’s whereabouts and consider notifying the local authority at the earliest opportunity.

Schools must monitor pupils’ attendance through their daily register. Schools should agree with their local authority the intervals at which they will inform local authorities of the details of pupils who fail to attend regularly or have missed ten school days or more without permission. Schools should monitor attendance closely and address poor or irregular attendance. It is important that pupils’ poor attendance is referred to the local authority.

Where a pupil has not returned to school for 10 days after an authorised absence or is absent from school without authorisation for 20 consecutive school days, the pupil can be removed from the admission register when the school and the local authority have failed, after jointly making reasonable enquiries, to establish the whereabouts of the child. This only applies if the school does not have reasonable grounds to believe that the pupil is unable to attend because of sickness or unavoidable cause.