Child missing in education.

This information is taken from the Bolton Council Website.

What is it?

Children Missing Education (CME) are children who are of compulsory school age who are not on a school roll and who are not receiving a suitable education by other means (e.g. privately, electively home educated (EHE) or in alternative provision). CME is different to those children who are missing or absent from home or care. These ‘missing’ children and young people are amongst the most vulnerable in Bolton and therefore it is vital that practitioners in all services work together to identify and re-engage these children and young people into the appropriate education provision as quickly as possible.

What are our legal responsibilities?

The Department for Education has recently provided statutory guidance to local authorities which sets out the key principles to enable them to implement their legal duty under section Section 436A of the Education Act 1996 to make arrangements to establish (so far as it is possible to do so) the identities of children in their area who are of compulsory school age and not receiving a suitable education. In relation to children, suitable education is efficient full-time education suitable to her/his age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs the child may have. The duty applies in relation to children of compulsory school age who are not on a school roll, and who are not receiving a suitable education otherwise than being at school, for example, at home, privately or in alternative provision.

 Schools already have a duty to monitor attendance through the attendance register and to make returns to local authorities where the attendance of individual pupils gives cause for concern. The Children Act 2004 places a duty on all agencies to work together to promote the safeguarding and welfare of children and young people and to share information. This principle underpins this policy and there is an expectation that all agencies will work together to ensure that children and young people do not ‘slip through the net’ and become missing.

What do we do in Bolton?

Bolton has in place arrangements for close joint working and appropriate information sharing with other local authorities and relevant partner agencies that come into contact with children and families including Pupil and Student Services, Early Interventions Team and Connexions Service, Achievement Cohesion and Integration Service, Youth Offending Team, Social Care colleagues, Bolton and Bridgewater NHS Foundation Trust staff, and the Housing Directorate. There are also close links with the UK Border Agency. This proactive approach will help to enable us in limiting the opportunity for children and young people to become missing or ‘lost’.

If you require further clarification or have any queries in relation to this area please do not hesitate to contact Bolton Council’s Children Missing Education Officer on 01204 334036 or 332139.

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