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Children Missing from Education

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Definition and Overview
Further Information
Amendments to this Chapter

When children and young people go missing from education, for whatever reason, steps should be taken by schools and the Education Directorate to identify and locate them by working collaboratively with other authorities and jurisdictions (see School Attendance Policy (

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 Government 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 ( and the School Attendance Policy (


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.


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 (

Further Information

This guidance should be read in the context of:

Education (Jersey) Law 1999

Children (Jersey) Law 2002

Amendments to this Chapter

This chapter was updated in June 2019 in regard to Jersey Education policy.