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Children missing education

The reasons why a child is missing education and what you can do next.

A child missing education is:

  • between the compulsory school age of 5 to 16 years old
  • not registered on a school register
  • not attending an alternate education provision
  • not being electively home educated (EHE)

A child may be missing from education because:

  • they failed to start in Reception Year at a school.
  • they did not move from one school to another. For example, when moved to / from another Local Authority area / district.
  • they failed to transfer into a secondary school.
  • they have been permanently excluded from school.
  • they have failed to register in a school after travelling / living outside the UK.
  • their parent(s) are military personnel.
  • they are part of a travelling community.

A child is not missing education when:

  • they are registered on a school role; however, the pupil may be recorded on the attendance certificate as having unauthorised non-attendance.
  • they are receiving a full time, effective elective home education (EHE)
  • attending an alternative educational provision, such as a pupil referral unit (PRU)

If you have a safeguarding concern regarding a child

Email our secure email at

Call 0808 800 4005, open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6:45pm. Calls are free from landlines and most mobiles.

If an emergency please call the police on 999.

Out of hours

Call 0808 800 4005 and your call will be diverted to the Emergency Duty Service, who will handle calls that cannot wait until the next working day.

For members of the public and SCC professionals

Reporting a child missing education (CME)), including out of hours

If you think a child may be missing education, please let us know by either completing


Please be aware that the CME Team will always investigate your concerns, take the appropriate action and if necessary, share any relevant information with the appropriate Suffolk County Council Team(s) or professional. However, it is not possible to provide you with any updates or further information.

If you have another query or concern with a child you believe may be missing education and would like to discuss this with the team, please email in the first instance or telephone the CME General No. 01473 265224. Voicemail available & the CME Team aim to return your call the next working day.