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Children Missing from Education


Quick Links:

Definition and Overview
Risks
Further Information
Amendments to this Chapter


Definition and Overview

‘Children Missing Education’ refers to any child of compulsory school age who:

  • Is not on school roll;
  • Is being educated otherwise (e.g. privately or in alternative provision);
  • Has been out of any educational provision for 10 consecutive school days without notifying the school (unless a period of sickness has been validated by a school or a leave of absence has been agreed by the Chief Education Officer);
  • Fails to start in a new school or appropriate education provision, or becomes lost from school rolls or fails to re-register at a new school having left a school in Jersey;
  • Is reported as missing by another States of Jersey department (such as the Police);
  • Is reported as missing by a parent or other third party and the report is validated.

It is important for professionals working with children to understand that Children Missing Education is different from a school attendance problem i.e. children reporting missing from an educational setting.

Schools should monitor attendance closely and address poor or irregular attendance and where concerns are identified staff need to refer to Education Welfare Service (gov.je) and the School Attendance Policy (gov.je).


Risks

These 'missing' children can be vulnerable; it is essential that all services work together to identify and re-engage these children back into appropriate education provision as quickly as possible. It is important to establish the reasons for the child being missing at the earliest possible stage.

Possible reasons that should be considered include:

  • Failure to start appropriate provision and never enter the system;
  • Stopped attending, due to illegal exclusion or withdrawal by parent/carers;
  • Failure to complete a transition between schools;
  • Children from refugee and asylum seeking families;
  • Children from families who are highly mobile;
  • Children at risk of a forced marriage;
  • Children experiencing abuse and neglect.

Children who remain disengaged from education are potentially exposed to higher degrees of risk, such as anti-social behaviour and/or sexual exploitation.

Process

The UK legislation Statutory guidance for local authorities: Children missing education (September 2016) is not statutory in Jersey but is referenced as good practice and forms the basis for the Education Department Children Missing Education (CME) policy.

The Jersey process can be found here, see Education Department Policy, Children Missing Education (gov.je).


Further Information

This guidance should be read in the context of:

Education (Jersey) Law 1999

Children (Jersey) Law 2002


Amendments to this Chapter

In April 2018, this chapter was extensively updated and should be read throughout.

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