Children missing from education

We have a legal duty to identify children who are missing education (CME), taking action where necessary, and ensuring children of compulsory school age are receiving suitable education. This duty applies to all maintained schools, academies, free schools and independent schools.

CME referrals can be made in relation to a child of compulsory school age that:

  • is absent from school and their whereabouts are unknown


  • is not on a school roll and there does not seem to be any education in place.

Anyone with a concern that a child is missing education can make a referral.  Schools that make a referral will be asked to evidence the actions taken during the course of carrying out reasonable enquiries to establish the whereabouts of the young person.