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Pupils missing out on education and children missing from education

In Leicestershire our focus is on both ‘Pupils missing out on education’ and ‘Children missing from education’.

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Your child must start full-time education once they reach compulsory school age and remain in full-time education until they reach school leaving age.

Pupils missing out on education (PME)

Pupils missing out on education (PME) are children of compulsory school age who may be on the roll of a school or setting but aren't accessing full-time education, either in school or in alternative provision.

There may be a range of reasons why a child may miss out on education, which could include low attendance or children who require a different way of accessing education.

If you have any concerns about your child’s school attendance or if you are worried about the level education your child is receiving, you can gain support and advice from your child’s school. The school's attendance officer, welfare officer or a member of the school’s pastoral team will work with you to understand what the issues are around their non-attendance.

Schools have access to many resources that can help to understand your child’s needs and provide an inclusive environment for them to gain access to a successful education.

Schools may also be required to link with other agencies to help support your child to access education including the inclusion forums, Inclusion service, SEND services or pupil services court team to consider all available options around supporting your child to attend full-time education.

Schools are required to inform the Inclusion service if a child is not receiving full-time education. We will monitor the reasons for why your child is not attending full time and help to ensure that the education is appropriate for the child and can help to co-ordinate additional support with the school where required.

When a child could be missing from education

Children may be missing from education if there is a failure to register a child at a school, or when the education cannot be identified by the local authority.

This may happen due to the child’s family withdrawing their child from school and not enabling a successful transition to their next school. For example, they may:

  • not register the child’s education with the local authority
  • register the child at school, but not start
  • stop attending, for example due to an illegal exclusion or withdrawal from school; or
  • fail to complete a transfer between schools/educational providers, for example, being unable to find a suitable school place after moving to a new local authority area, or after leaving a custodial establishment
  • be out of any educational provision for a substantial period of time and aren’t receiving suitable education

The national definition of children who aren't receiving a suitable education is:

Children of compulsory school age, who aren't on a school roll, nor being educated otherwise and who have been out of any educational provision for a substantial period of time and who aren't receiving a suitable education.

Leaving a school

If you leave your school, you’ll need to notify them of your new address, or new school or home education arrangements. Your school with then notify the Inclusion service.

Applying for a school place

If you have a child who is living in Leicestershire and is:

  • not registered in an educational setting
  • new to the county
  • about to be of statutory schools age and ready to start school

you can apply for a school place through the school admissions page.  

Home education

If you're interested in home educating and would like further information, or to register as home educated, please visit our home education page.

The local authority's responsibility

The statutory guidance for children missing education outlines the responsibilities of the local authority, schools and parents, and the legal duty of working together to prevent children missing education.

Education Act 1996

Identifying children missing education and supporting children back into education

The Inclusion service identifies children who are missing education through tracking those of statutory school age who are not registered at school, home educated or attending an educational provision. The process of tracking pupils without an educational placement is part of our collective responsibility and ongoing commitment to safeguarding the welfare of children and young people.

The Inclusion service offers support to all children and young people, enabling them to access to a good educational environment and supports transition back in to learning. We would encourage parents and carers to enrol their child into a school/setting and support those who choose to educate in other ways.

The support offered may include:

  • support for parents/carers to register the child for a school placement with the school admission service
  • working with the family and relevant agencies to consider the available options, if there are barriers to accessing education

Support services for children and families

There may be barriers in accessing education and there are a range of services that offer support to children and families. Services may provide help with a range of issues such as parenting, behaviour difficulties, emotional wellbeing, risk-taking behaviours, SEND, legal advice and more.

Please see the following links if you require further support:

Barnardo's - See, Hear, Respond project offers support on emotional wellbeing, online safety, returning to school, SEND and young carers

Children and Family Wellbeing Service (CFWS) provides help at any point in a child's life, regarding behaviour and mental health difficulties, youth work, intensive support for families and new parents

Getting ready for school 2020 provides information on schools reopening and covers themes such as attendance, hygiene and school transport

SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) advises on all matters relating to SEND such as education, health and social care issues

Coram Children's Legal Centre provides legal advice to parents, carers and young people on all areas of child, family and education law

Services for looked after children (LACs) and young people support children’s safety and wellbeing, and ensure they are given the opportunity to improve themselves and develop their academic potential through the virtual school

Help for young carers provides information and support for people who are 18 and under get help with care and school work

Further reading

Children missing education policy  Opens new window

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