Children Missing Education (CME)
What ‘children missing education’ means
All children of compulsory school age, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to an efficient, full time education which is suitable to their age, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. ‘Children missing education’ are those who are not registered at a school, not receiving a suitable education otherwise (i.e. Elective Home Education or alternative provision), are not regularly attending the school where they are a registered pupil or cease attending and/or their whereabouts or destination school is unknown. These children can be at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation and in later life becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training).
Tracking and Monitoring
Information sharing between parents, schools, the community and the local authority is therefore crucial to ensure that these children are kept safe and are receiving the education they are entitled to. In accordance with DfE Statutory guidance, Children Missing Education (Sept 2016) the Local Authority has effective tracking and enquiry systems in place and an appointed named person to whom schools, other agencies and the public can make referrals regarding children who they believe are missing from education. Joint reasonable enquiries can then be made as quickly as possible by schools and the LA. Joint working arrangments are also in place with agencies and services such as, Housing, Health, the Police, and other local authorities.
Other LA Responsibilities
The local authority also has other duties and powers to support their work on CME which include:
making arrangements to establish (wherever possible) the identities of children in the area who are not registered pupils at a school and who are not receiving a suitable education otherwise (e.g. Elective Home Education - EHE)
arranging education for permanently excluded pupils from the sixth day
safeguarding children’s welfare and the duty to protect them from harm and neglect
serving Notices and issuing School Attendance Orders to parent/carer(s) who fail to evidence that their child is receiving a suitable education by registering at a school or otherwise. Pursuing a prosecution or an Education Supervision Order for those who do not comply with the Order
issuing a Penalty Notice, pursue an Education Supervision Order or prosecution of parent/carer(s) who fail to ensure that their child(ren) attend regularly at the school or alternative educational provision where they are a registered pupil
Who should be notified of a child missing education?
Julie Hodges (CME Co-ordinator):
Children missing education – Statutory guidance for local authorities (DfE September 2016)
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 can be found at:
If there is a significant risk of harm regarding a child, then the school’s Designated Senior Person for Child Protection should be informed. Contact should be made by the DSP with the CME Coordinator for the situation to be logged and action taken urgently. If not a school staff then the Customer Resolution Centre should be contacted on Tel: 01609 780780