Missing Student Policy

1. Policy statement

1.1 Policy aims: Through the operation of this policy we aim to:

    1.1.1 protect the health and safety of students at the College;
    1.1.2 ensure that College staff know how to respond if a student goes missing.

1.2 Scope: This policy:

    1.2.1 applies to staff (including volunteers), students and parents at the College;
    1.2.2 should be read with the Child Protection Policy; and
    1.2.3 is a mandatory requirement of Keeping Children Safe in Education (Department for Education (DfE),.

1.3 The procedures in this policy may be adapted as necessary. The Principal has a wide discretion in relation to the procedures in this policy. Reference to the Principal in this policy includes anyone to whom the responsibilities of the Principal have been delegated.

1.4 Publication: [ ●This policy is provided to all staff in the Staff Handbook.] Parents may request a copy from the College [●or review the policy on the College website].

2 Responsibility

2.1 The Directors of College delegate appropriate responsibilities for the day to day management of the College to the Principal. In practice, all members of staff contribute to the safety of students at the College by providing appropriate supervision in accordance with the directions of the Principal and Senior Management Team. Schools are under a general duty to supervise students to the standard of a prudent or careful parent. Any member of staff who notices a student is missing or sees a student in a place where the student should not be has a duty to inform the relevant Tutor without delay.

3 Procedure for missing student

3.1 If a member of staff or volunteer notes that a student is missing, he / she should contact the student’s [●Personal Tutor (Tutor)] immediately.

3.2 The Tutor will then:

  • check the Calendar to ensure the student is not legitimately absent
  • check Co-Curricular activities
  • check in classrooms and common areas and ask other students for information
  • if the student has a mobile telephone number, try to make contact.

3.3 If the student cannot be found following the above investigation, the Tutor must:

  • inform the Senior Deputy Head and / or the Principal
  • instigate a search of the of College buildings.

3.4 If the student is found on site or in the vicinity, the College staff will make a concerted effort to persuade the student to return to the College. If the student refuses to do so, staff members at the scene will attempt to continue to monitor the student’s whereabouts. The Principal will consider contacting the parents in such circumstances to inform them of the situation.

3.5 If the student is not found after an initial search, the Principal will telephone the student’s parent or guardian and report the situation and to ask the parents’ or guardian’s advice on possible places the student may have gone.

3.6 The Principal will also contact the police in such circumstances and take advice from them in accordance with the procedure set out in section 5 of this policy.

3.7 A decision will be taken in accordance with the College’s Safeguarding Policy as to whether the College should also contact children’s social care in line with local procedures.

4 Procedure for students missing during a College trip or during a journey

4.1 If a student is missing from a College trip or has not arrived following a College journey, the member of staff in charge will:

  • attempt to contact the student
  • check whether there were any delays or changes to the journey
  • check with other students and ask them if they have any knowledge of the missing student’s whereabouts
  • contact the venue or the people that the student had visited, if applicable.

4.2 If the student is not found, the Tutor must contact the Principal. The Principal will advise as to the appropriate course of action, including contacting the student’s parents, hospitals and the Police.

5 Information to be provided to the Police

5.1 When a student is missing and the police have to be informed, this can be done either by using the non-emergency number (0300 333 3000) or if the circumstances warrant, using 999. The following information is required by the police when reporting a missing student:

  • Full name and any nickname
  • Date of Birth
  • Description – including any distinguishing features
  • What they were wearing and carrying with them when last seen
  • Student’s mobile phone number
  • Time when last seen
  • Photograph (which can be scanned and emailed as appropriate)
  • Home address, parents’ names and telephone numbers

5.2 It is also useful to have considered the following questions when phoning the police:

  • Has anything gone missing from their personal belongings?
  • Any suspicions or indications as to where they might have gone?
  • Any relevant information which might point to why and/or where they have gone?

5.3 College activities will continue as normal.

6 Review

6.1 This policy shall be reviewed every year as part of the College’s annual review of safeguarding, and updated as necessary. In undertaking the review the Designated Safeguarding Lead will take into account any incidents in the Missing Student Incident Book that indicate that there may be a problem with supervision, student support or security at the College and any issues raised by individual members of staff, parents and students.

7 Missing student incident book

7.1 The College must keep a full written record of any incident of a missing student including:

  • the student’s name
  • relevant dates and times (e.g. when it was first noticed that the student was missing)
  • the action taken to find the student
  • whether the Police or children’s social care were involved
  • outcome or resolution of the incident
  • any reasons given by the student for being missing
  • any concerns or complaints about the handling of the incident
  • a record of the staff involved

7.2 A full written record of the incident will be kept on the student’s file.

Authorised by The Principal
Date November 2019
Effective date of the policy November 2019
Circulation Teaching staff / all staff / parents / Students on request
Review date September 2020