Children Missing In Education

Children who are compulsory school age and are not on a school roll or have not been in suitable alternative education for more than twenty school days are Children Missing In Education (CME)

We are legally required to identify and track Children Missing in Education and maintain a CME register.

Tracking pupils who don't have an educational placement is also part of our collective responsibility and ongoing commitment to safeguarding the welfare of children and young people.

Children can go missing when they have not been registered at a school, or when they fall out of the education system. For example:

  • Fail to start education and therefore never enter the education system.
  • Stop attending, for example due to illegal exclusion or withdrawal from school.
  • Fail to transfer between schools, either locally or from one area to another.

We have a robust tracing process in place which involves border checks, local authorities, health and housing checks.

The Children Missing in Education Officer tracks and follows up with all children who do not receive a suitable education. This is to ensure they are helped to access education as quickly as possible.

There is ongoing communication between agencies and the public to refer any child they believe is not in education.


In addition to under achieving educationally, CME are may also be at additional risk of abuse, human trafficking and child sexual exploitation.