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Children missing education

Children Missing Education (CME) are children of compulsory school age who are:

  • not on a school roll
  • who have been out of any educational provision for a substantial period of time (usually agreed as four weeks or more)

Why do children go missing from education?

There are a number of reasons, including:

  • they fail to start a local authority school and hence never enter the system
  • they cease to attend, due to exclusion (for example illegal unofficial exclusions) or withdrawal
  • they fail to complete a move between schools; being unable to find a suitable school place after moving to a new local authority
  • personal factors, such as lack of interest
  • family mobility
  • family problems

Local responsibilities

All local authorities have a duty to identify children missing from education and to find support for them through the most appropriate agencies.

Please contact us if you are worried about a child or young person missing education.

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