Do you know a child missing from school or education?

How to inform us about a child you believe is not receiving full time education

How to inform us about a child that's not receiving full time education

  • If you're a member of the public who's concerned that a child in your area is not receiving full time education, you can contact us on 020 8726 6000 ext. 24430.
  • If you're a professional, please submit a Child Missing from Education (CME) referral form.

What a child missing from education means

A Child Missing from Education (CME) is defined by the Department for Education (DfE) as "a child of compulsory school age who is not on a school roll, nor being educated otherwise (e.g. privately or in alternative provision) and who has been out of any educational provision for a substantial period of time (usually four weeks or more)." In Croydon, referrals for CME are accepted after 10 working days of reasonable checks being carried out by the educational provider and their Designated Safeguarding Lead.

Section 436A of the Education Act 1996 (amended - Education and Inspections Act 2006) requires all local authorities to make arrangements to enable them to establish (so far as it is possible to do so) the identities of children residing in their area who are not receiving a "suitable education". We stand a better chance of ensuring a child's safety if we know how and where they are receiving their education.

By "suitable education" we mean efficient full-time education suitable to the child's age. Children Missing from Education should not be confused with:

  • children who are on roll at a school but are not in regular attendance. In this case, referrals should be made to the Education Welfare Service, or the school's Attendance and Welfare Officer
  • children who are receiving Home Education (known as Elective Home Education)
  • children whose parents have applied for a school place, and the application is being dealt with via the Admissions procedures.