Children Missing Education – New statutory guidance from the DfE


On 1st September 2016, new statutory procedures were introduced by the DfE with regard to Children Missing Education.

The DfE Children Missing Education statutory guidance document states that:

  • All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to an efficient, full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have.
  • Children missing education are children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school. Children missing education are at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation, and becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later in life.
  • Effective information sharing between parents, schools and local authorities is critical to ensuring that all children of compulsory school age are safe and receiving suitable education. Local authorities should focus their resources effectively in intervening early in the lives of vulnerable children to help prevent poor outcomes.

Summary of School Responsibilities

All schools, including Academies and Free Schools, are required to inform their Local Authority (LA) when they are about to remove a pupil/student from their Admissions Register (this does not apply to end of phase transfers).

Schools, jointly with the LA, must make reasonable enquiries to establish the destination school of the child.

Schools must notify the LA within five days of a pupil/student joining the school mid-year.

If a pupil/student fails to attend on the agreed or notified date, the school should undertake reasonable enquiries to establish the child’s whereabouts and consider notifying the LA at the earliest opportunity.

Monthly printouts or electronic backups of the Admissions Register must be produced.

Pupil/student attendance must be monitored through the daily register. Schools should agree with their LA the intervals at which they inform them of the details of pupil/students who fail to attend regularly, or have missed ten school days or more without permission.

Schools must be able to evidence that they have made sufficient enquiries to find the destination school of a pupil/student, the start date at the destination school and if the pupil/student is not attending school.

You can now download the latest advice on the best use of SIMS to help meet these requirements. There is also a new Admissions Register report definition file for download which can be unzipped & imported into SIMS via Reports | Import.

Download the Admissions Register ZIP file → Download the Best use PDF →

We strongly recommend that schools have read the DfE guidance in full to ensure they are aware of all the new statutory responsibilities.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0345 222 1551 • Option 3 or email if you would like any further information.

SBS provides Capita-accredited support, consultancy and training for SIMS. Learn more about how to get the most out of your school data.

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