Children missing education

Children of compulsory school age are viewed as missing education if they are not attending a school, and are:

  • not being educated in an alternative provision or at home

  • not in private education

Why do children go missing from education?

The most common reasons are:

  • They do not start school when they reach school age and therefore fail to enter the educational system

  • They do not transfer to secondary school when they should

  • The family move house regularly, or becomes homeless or there are other domestic issues

  • The family has experienced domestic violence and has been placed in a refuge

  • The child ceases to attend school due to exclusion, illness, bullying or other school-based issues

  • Parents “withdraw” children from school due to a dispute or disagreement with school staff

  • The child has behaviour or attendance concerns

  • No school places are available when a family moves to a new area

  • Parents decide to home educate unofficially ie without the Local Authority knowing

  • The child dips in and out of Elective Home Education at the request of parents/carers

  • The family moves out of area without notifying the school

Children missing education or at risk of missing education

 It is a statutory requirement that all local authorities identify children missing from education.

In Harrow we are concerned about any child or young person who is missing out on their educational entitlement and valuable learning. Not only might their educational progress and achievement be at risk, but also their safety and welfare. This includes:

  • Being in danger of physical harm 
  • Becoming involved in criminal activity
  • Abusing drugs and alcohol
  • Falling prey to sexual exploitation
  • Suffering mental health issues
  • Being illegally employed
  • Demonstrating anti-social behaviour

If you believe any children or young people are missing from education please let us know. This helps ensure their safety, and gets them registered at an education setting.

For further information you can view: 

What you can do

What should I do if I am concerned about a child who I believe is missing from education?

If you are aware of a child who is neither in school, nor receiving education at home, please contact us as soon as possible via the details at the bottom of this page. We take referrals from professionals and the public from Harrow and outside the area.