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

  • Support to identify children missing from education.
  • Together for Children is here to support you and your organisation to develop a highly skilled and professional teaching workforce.
  • We provide advice and practical support to all schools and their practitioners in Sunderland, to deliver improved outcomes for children and their families with English as an additional language.
  • Information and support around exclusions.
  • Together for Children provides a comprehensive governor support, advice and continuing professional development service for schools and academies.
  • We provide HR support and advice to schools, academies and multi academy trusts.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Governors have a vital role to play as the link between schools and the local community.
  • The Vulnerable Pupils Panel (VPP) was developed to consider referrals to Together for Children's locally commissioned alternative educational provisions.