Children missing education are children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school. Children missing education are at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation, and becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later in life.

Local authorities have a duty under section 436A of the Education Act 1996 to make arrangements to establish the identities of children in their area who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise. This duty only relates to children of compulsory school age.

How do I report a child missing education?

If you are aware of a child who you believe to be missing education and wish to make a report, you can email us at 

Why do children go missing from education?

There are many reasons why children go missing from education and Doncaster City Council has implemented robust procedures to ensure these vulnerable children are quickly identified and support is promptly put in place for the child to return to education. Some examples are:

  • Children who never enter the education system 
  • Children who do not transfer during normal transitions times (infant to junior, primary to secondary)
  • Children who leave private or independent  schools with no other education provision in place
  • Children who move into or out of the LA without securing a school place

What are the risks of children missing education?

Children missing education are amongst the most vulnerable in our communities. It is vital that Doncaster City Council are able to identify these children with the intention of re-engaging them back in to appropriate education provision as quickly as possible. All children in Doncaster should achieve the five core outcomes under the Children’s Act (2004): Being Healthy; Staying Safe; Enjoying and Achieving; Making a Positive Contribution; Achieving Economic Well-Being’. Children not engaged in education provision can be exposed to greater risks including being at risk of physical harm or neglect, sexual exploitation, anti-social behaviour and/or criminal activity.


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Last updated: 23 January 2024 15:30:03

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