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Children missing education

Children of compulsory school age are deemed 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 have experienced domestic violence and have been placed in a refuge
  • The child ceases to attend 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 i.e., without the Local Authority knowing
  • Dip in and out” of Elective Home Education at the request of parents/carers
  • The family move 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, as it may not only be their educational progress and achievement at risk, but also their safety and welfare.

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

By sharing information with us about the children and young people who you think or know are missing from education, we can make sure they are safe and registered at a school or an alternative education setting as soon as possible.

For further information you can view:

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 either not in school or receiving education at home, then please contact us as soon as possible. We take referrals from professionals and the public from Harrow and outside the area.

Children missing from education

For further information please contact:

Telephone: 020 8901 2690