Children Missing From Education

Children Missing From Education

The Education and Inspections Act 2006 places a statutory duty on local authorities in England and Wales to make arrangements to identify children and young people of compulsory school age, who are missing from education within their area.

A child or young person who is deemed missing education is of compulsory school age - between the ages of five and 16 - is not on a school roll nor registered at any formally approved education activity and has been out of any education for a substantial period of time, usually more than four weeks.

Approved education activity includes provisions such as a maintained school or independent (private) school, city academy, alternative curriculum provision, pupil referral unit and elective home education and registered with the local authority.

How can children and young people go 'missing from education'?

There are a number of recognised points where children or young people can go missing from education. These include:

  • Failure to start appropriate provision at 'reception' age and therefore never entering the educational system
  • After any form of exclusion from education
  • Failure to complete the transition from primary to secondary school
  • Delays in applying for a new school when a family arrive in the city
  • Delays in applying for a new school when a child leaves an independent (private) school
  • Child removed from school by family who leave the area with no forwarding address
  • Child removed and not registered as "home educated"

These 'missing' children are amongst the most vulnerable children in Sunderland. It is essential that practitioners in all services work together to identify and re-engage these children, back into appropriate educational provision as quickly as possible.

For more information contact our Early Help Service on 0191 561 2837 or email

New Admissions Form

Download our New Admissions Form which deals with pupils admitted to school outside of the normal transition period

In Education & Schools

  • Our Alternative Provisions Directory has been developed to provide free and impartial information to schools on alternative provision and/or services that can support children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
  • The first Sunderland Schools Mental Health Charter Mark Awards Ceremony took place at Southwick Primary School on 10 October 2019.
  • Support to identify children missing from education
  • The Designated Officer (formerly known as the LADO) manages and oversees allegations against adults who work and volunteer with children.
  • Exculsion' means to exclude a pupil from a school on disciplinary grounds.
  • Governor Support
  • When a child has been experiencing difficulties at school, particularly of a behavioural nature, head teachers may suggest that a parent considers a managed move for their child.
  • We encourage schools and other education providers to implement our Mental Health Charter Mark
  • Together for Children works with Sunderland Music Hub and the city's schools, teachers, practitioners, young people and organisations to ensure all young people can access a high quality music education.
  • Together for Children are here to support you and your organisation to develop a highly skilled and professional teaching workforce.
  • Governors have a vital role to play as the link between schools and the local community.
  • Together for Children Sunderland and Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group are teaming up with a number of health care organisations to deliver School Assemblies on Health and Lifestyle.
  • The Vulnerable Pupils Panel (VPP) previously known as the Central Provisions Panel (CPP) was developed to consider referrals to Together for Children's locally commissioned alternative educational provisions.