Children missing from education (CME)
The Welsh Government has placed a duty on local authorities to establish (where possible) the identities of children in their area who are of compulsory school age and not receiving fair education.
We are committed to ensuring that all pupils who go missing or disappear from schools in the Local Authority or other counties that may have arrived in Neath Port Talbot are quickly located.
What to do if you are concerned
If you know or suspect a child is missing from education, let us know immediately. Checks are routinely carried out before contacting parents or carers. It's always better to tell us if you are in any doubt.
Contact the team on:
The following documents can be found in the CME policy.
- schools should complete CME Referral Form Appendix 1
- professionals and agencies should complete CME Referral Form Appendix 3
- Local Authorities should complete Appendix 4
Education and safeguarding
Any safeguarding concerns must be raised with social services, as well as submitting a request for a CME check.
Neath Port Talbot schools should contact their Education Welfare Officer
Why children go missing from education
There are many reasons why children go missing from education.
- don’t start school at the appropriate time, so they do not enter the educational system and are not on the school roll.
- removed by their parents due to problems at school, disinterest or poor attendance.
- stop to attend due to exclusion, illness or bullying.
- fail to find a suitable school place after moving to a new area.
- the family moves home regularly.
- problems at home.
- not receiving the correct Education other than at school.
Locating children identified as missing from education
If a child is not enrolled in education, the Education Welfare Service will conduct thorough investigations to find the child.
Checks will be carried out against existing databases within the education service and with those held by partner agencies and may include the following:
- Child Health Department.
- Children’s Services (SSD).
- Police Service.
- Housing Services.
- Revenue and Benefits.
- any other agency is known to be involved with the family.
- the local authority from which the child first moved is known.
- check Where it is appropriate with the custodial institution from which a child has left via the Youth Offending Service (YOS).
- check with any local authority to which a child may have moved.
- Inland Revenue.
If children are from families in the Armed Forces, check with the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS).
Advice and guidance
If you need help with children missing from education, contact your School Education Welfare Officer (EWO) or the manager of Education Welfare Service for guidance and support.