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2.2.17 Children Missing from Education / Not Attending School


For detailed guidance see Statutory Guidance Children Missing Education (Government Website)

The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2016 - Further amendments have been made to the Education (Pupil Registration (England) Regulations 2006, Regulation 5 Contents of Admission Register.


This chapter was updated in April 2017 to link to The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2016 – the revised regulations make changes to the Education (Pupil Registration (England) Regulations 2006, Regulation 5 Contents of Admission Register.


  1. Definition
  2. Required Action by Schools
  3. Required Action by Other Agencies

1. Definition

“Children missing from education” refers to all children of compulsory school age:

  • Who are not on a school roll or being educated otherwise (e.g. privately or in alternative provision) for example children of travelling communities or immigrant families who never are registered for education; or
  • Who have been out of any educational provision for a substantial period of time (usually agreed as ten days without provision of reasonable explanation).

According to Section 436A of the Education Act 1996 (Section 4 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006) the Local Authority has a duty to identify, as far as it is possible to do so, children missing education (CME) and get them back into education.

There should be a ‘child missing from education’ (CME) named point of contact in every local authority and every practitioner working with a child has a responsibility to inform that CME if s/he knows or suspects that a child is not receiving education.

2. Required Action by Schools

As a result of daily registration, schools are particularly well placed to notice when a child has gone missing. f a member of school/educational establishment/college staff becomes aware that a child may have run away or gone missing, they should try to establish with the parents / carers, what has happened. If this is not possible, or the child is missing, the designated safeguarding teacher/advisor should, together with the class teacher, assess the child's vulnerability.

If a child leave a Kent or Medway School without notice being given by the parent or the school being advised by the parent of the new address and/or school the child is to attend, the school should notify its allocated Education Welfare Officer (EWO Kent / Attendance and Advisory Practitioner (AAP Medway)as soon as possible:

The EWO/AAP (please change throughout Allen) will work with the school to make reasonable enquiries to try to identify the child’s whereabouts.

After 20 days of continuous non-attendance and following investigations by the school and the EWO/AAP, the child could be classed as a CME. With confirmation from the Local Authority, the school may take the pupil off roll – in line with Regulation 8 of Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006. The school will need to upload a Common Transfer File (CTF) for the pupil to the DfE Secure Date Transfer site (S2S) using the relevant code

Further children missing education guidance can be found at the Kent Safeguarding Children Board or Medway Safeguarding Children Board websites.

These procedures will only be effective if all schools adhere to the principle that whenever a pupil joins or leaves a school then a common transfer file must accompany her/him. After 4 weeks the child’s Common Transfer file should be uploaded to the Department for Education secure site for the transfer of pupil information when a pupil moves between schools. The CME Officer in the Local Authority must also be informed.

3. Required Action by Other Agencies

Where any agency in contact with children and families believes that a child is not on the roll of a school or receiving education otherwise, then this information should be passed to the responsible Education Authority with any details they have of the child in question.

For more information contact:

Attendance Advisory Service for Schools and Academies

Write to: Attendance Advisory Service for Schools and Academies, Medway Council, The Elaine Centre, Clifton Close, Strood, Rochester, Kent ME2 2HG

Inclusion Service, Children Missing Education, Kent County Council


Write to: Children Missing Education Team, Kent County Council, Room 2.05, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone ME14 1XQ