Children missing education

In the UK, all children are entitled to a full time education, regardless of ability or needs. Children who are missing education are potentially vulnerable and it is therefore important that we know what to do.

As above, all children are entitled to an education.  For the majority of children this will be through a mainstream setting with a number of other children of roughly the same age.  For some the provision will be more tailored to their individual presenting needs and for others education will be provided at home.  As per the Department for Education’s guidance below, children who are not receiving a suitable education (whether in school or somewhere else) are considered as missing education (CME).  Children who are classed as CME are at significant risk of not reaching their full potential, being harmed, exploited, involved in gangs, or radicalised and also becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) as they get older.

The Social Care Institute of Excellence (2020) report that where there is a link to poverty, deprivation or involvement with Children’s Social Care, there is a higher chance of children being recorded as missing education.

Definition of a child missing education

“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.”

Department for Education, CME Guidance

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