Pupils missing out on education and children missing from education

In Leicestershire, our focus is on both ‘pupils missing out on education’ (registered but not attending) and ‘children missing from education’ (not registered).


Tell us about part-time timetables, suspensions, mid-year moves and any concerns over attendance for children with an EHCP using our Record Absence Data form.

Where children are without a school place, the first point of contact for schools and families is the Admissions Service who are the only local authority service able to allocate school places to children (unless they have an EHCP or are Looked After).

However, where children remain out of education for a significant amount of time, they will come under the remit of the Inclusion Service as a Child Missing Education (CME). The Inclusion Service maintain oversight of these children and meet regularly with the Admissions Service to review the progress of cases.

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 aren't accessing full-time education, either in their school or alternative provision.   

There may be a range of reasons why your child may be missing out on education. They may have low attendance or require a different way of getting their education.  

If you have any concerns about your child’s school attendance, or you’re worried about the level of education your child is receiving, you can gain support and advice from your child’s school.   

The school's attendance or 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 get a successful education.    

Schools may also be required to link with other agencies to help support your child to access full-time education. These may include the inclusion forums, Inclusion service, SEND services or Pupil services court team.  

Schools are required to inform the Inclusion service if your child is not receiving full-time education.  We will then 

  • monitor the reasons for why your child is not attending full-time 
  • help to ensure that the education is appropriate for your child; and 
  • can help to co-ordinate additional support with the school where required.  

Children 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 if you’ve taken your child out of school and haven’t successfully transferred to your next school or educational setting.  

This might be because  

  • you haven’t registered your child’s education with the local authority  
  • you have registered your child at a school, but they’ve not started yet  
  • your child has stopped attending - for example due to an illegal exclusion or withdrawal from school 
  • you haven’t completed a transfer between schools or education 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 
  • your child might be out of any educational provision for a substantial period of time and is not 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 or 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

Family Help Service 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

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