Welfare, attendance and exclusions

A parent's guide on a child's welfare and attendance at school and information on exclusions.

Children missing education

The term children missing education (CME) refers to when a child of compulsory school age is missing from a school or is moving away.

CME could also refer to children who do not have a school place, or where the local authority deems children of school age are not in suitable education.

Any child or young person who is missing education may not only be at risk of poor educational development but there is a risk to their safety and wellbeing.

Schools have the initial safeguarding responsibility to make reasonable enquiries and to establish the whereabouts of a child or the key information of the new address.

Examples of children missing education

  • If a child is on a school roll (has a school place), but is not attending school and the school's enquiries have failed to establish the child's whereabouts or confirmed an onward destination.
  • If a child is leaving a school at the point of transition but doesn't have a confirmed destination.
  • A child whose parents have failed to satisfy the local authority that the child has a named school or is in receipt of education other than at school, such as elective home education.

Examples of children who are not classified as CME

  • Children who are on a school roll with poor attendance or refusing to attend their registered school or education provider. 
  • Children and families who have informed the school they're going on holiday with a return date.
  • Children who are electively home educated.
  • Children whose parents have applied for a school place and the application is going through normal admissions procedures.

Concerned that a child is missing education?

If you are concerned that a child does not appear to have any education provided and/or does not seem to have a school place, please email our participation team at childrenmissingeducation@hillingdon.gov.uk or call 01895 250858 with details, and we will make enquiries. 

Information for schools

All Hillingdon borough schools can access more information about the CME process on the Hillingdon LEAP website.

Page last updated: 07 Mar 2023