Children missing from education

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

A child missing from education is:

  • in-between the compulsory school age of 5 - 16
  • not at school
  • not attending alternative education arrangements

A child may be missing from education because:

  • they didn't start at a school
  • they left a independent school or college
  • they were excluded from school
  • their parents took them out of school
  • they didn't move from school to another school; for example, moving to another local authority area
  • they didn't move into the next school in their life; for example, primary school to secondary school
  • their family is part of a mobile community

A child not missing from education is:

  • having a school place but are not attending regularly
  • being home educated
  • attending an alternative educational provider; for example, a pupil referral unit (PRU)

Reporting a child missing from education

If you think a child is missing from education contact the Children Missing Education Officer on 01473 265224 (Monday to Friday 8am - 4pm) or email

We will aim to find out more about a child's circumstances and hopefully provide the necessary support.