Children missing education

All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education suitable for their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have.

It is a key responsibility of the Wigan partnership to safeguard all children who live in Wigan or attend Wigan schools. Children not receiving a suitable education are vulnerable and can be at risk of not fulfilling their full potential. They are also at increased risk of harm.

A child is classed as missing from education if they are of compulsory school age but are not registered at a school nor being taught privately or through alternative education.

As part of The Children Act 2004, a duty is placed on all agencies to work together to promote the welfare of children. In addition to this, the Education Act 1996 ensures local authorities can establish the identities of children in their area who are not registered pupils at a school, and are not receiving suitable education.

Why do children go missing from education?

There are a number of reasons, including:

  • They were never enrolled at a school
  • They were removed from school by their parents or carers due to problems at school, disinterest, or poor attendance
  • They stop going to school because of illness, bullying, or exclusion
  • The family move home often and are unable to find a suitable school
  • Problems at home.

Who is more likely to be missing from education?**

  • Pupils at risk of harm/neglect
  • Children of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) families
  • Families of armed forces
  • Missing children/runaways
  • Children and young people supervised by the Youth Justice System
  • Children who cease to attend school.

In Wigan, we work with schools and partners to make sure all children missing education are found and their educational needs are met.

** As per the Department for Education - Children Missing Education Statutory Guidance for Local Authorities September 2016.

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