Children Missing Education

Monitoring and reducing the time children are without a school place or on a reduced timetable

Overview

Children missing education are children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school (elective home education). Children missing education are at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation, and becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later in life.

The team works closely with colleagues within the local authority, with other local authorities, with schools and with partner agencies to identify children, taking steps to ensure access to education and learning.

A strategic group oversees this work and will challenge barriers that prevent access to full time education provision for children resident in Oxfordshire.

Frequently asked questions

A pupil has left my school but I have not been contacted by a new school to confirm that the pupil has gone on roll. What should I do?

You should not remove a child from your roll until you are satisfied that their next educational destination has been confirmed and checked with the Children Missing Education officer.

If you are not informed within a reasonable time that the pupil has started at a new school, please send details to the Children Missing Education by email to childrenmissingeducation@oxfordshire.gov.uk . If you would like to discuss a referral, please call the Children Missing Education Officer on (01865) 810515.

NB: If you have a concern about the safety or wellbeing of a pupil arising from his/her non-attendance or departure from the school, then it is your responsibility to contact the Local and Community Support Service, the MASH or the police. The children missing education  procedure is intended to ensure only that a pupil is receiving a suitable education. A referral for pupil tracking is not a substitute for making any necessary safeguarding referral.

A pupil has stopped attending my school, or has failed to return after the holidays, without explanation. What should I do?

You should first attempt to contact the parents/carers in accordance with your attendance policy. If possible, a home visit should be carried out. On the third day of absence, you may contact the Locality and Community Support Service to discuss a home visit if the school cannot do this. 

If enquiries establish that the family has left the address, please send details to the Children Missing Education Officer by email to childrenmissingeducation@oxfordshire.gov.uk . If you would like to discuss a referral, please call the Children Missing Education Officer on (01865) 810515.

If enquiries establish that the child is at the address but failing to attend school, the school should continue to apply its attendance procedure, leading to action by the County Attendance Team if other measures are unsuccessful. 

Unexplained absence from school may also give rise to a safeguarding concern and in all such cases the school should consider whether a safeguarding referral is required alongside attendance and pupil tracking procedures.

 A pupil has been allocated a place at my school but I have been unable to contact the family to arrange for the pupil to start. What should I do?

A child who has been allocated and accepted a place at your school should be admitted to roll immediately.  No pre-meeting is legally required.

If you have been unable to contact the family after reasonable attempts, you should first refer to your admissions officer to see whether there has been any change to the allocation. If the admissions team are unaware of any change please send details to the Children Missing Education  Officer by email to childrenmissingeducation@oxfordshire.gov.uk . If you would like to discuss a referral, please call the Children Missing Education Officer on (01865) 810515.

The pupil should be entered on the school’s admission and attendance registers and roll, and if the pupil then fails to attend, you should establish the reason for absence apply your attendance procedure in the normal way, with a referral to the County Attendance Team where required

Background

The local authority (LA) has a statutory obligation to ensure that children and young people in their area are receiving a suitable education.  Children and young people who have none at all, can become invisible to the local authority.

Pupil Registration Regulations 2016

Requirements apply to schools as a result of the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2016. The latest Regulations were published on 22 July and came into force on 1 September 2016.

The Regulations amended the Pupil Registration Regulations 2006 by requiring schools to include additional information on their admissions registers, and there are  requirements to report to the local authority additions to, and removals from, the register. All starters and leavers outside the normal starting and leaving points for the school must be notified to the local authority and the regulations specify the information to be provided with each notification.

The regulations require admissions to be reported within five days and removals to be reported immediately.

Schools are requested to send these notifications by email to: childrenmissingeducation@oxfordshire.gov.uk

If possible please use these spreadsheets to make notifications: