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
We urge you to share information with us about children and young people who you think or know are missing from education. This helps us ensure their safety and get them registered at a school or alternative education setting as soon as possible.
For further information you can view:
- Guidance on how professionals can work together to improve school attendance
- Children Missing Education Policy 2023
What should I do if I am concerned about a child who is or may be 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.
Children missing from education
For further information please contact: