Children missing education, particularly repeatedly, may indicate potential safeguarding issues including neglect, abuse, sexual and/or criminal exploitation, mental health concerns, substance abuse and radicalisation. Early intervention is essential for identifying possible risks and helping to prevent a child going missing in future. All staff must be aware of the possible implications of children missing education and understand the College’s procedures for monitoring attendance and action required when a child is missing. Children missing education falls under the remit of Child Protection so this policy should be read in conjunction with the College’s Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.
This policy applies specifically to children under the age of 16. Nonetheless, the College remains vigilant to all instances of students missing in education and the potential safeguarding implications.
This policy aims to set out clear guidance on what to do if a child is missing from education.
3. Related policies, legislation and guidance
3.1 Related policies
Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Procedure
Health and Safety Policy
3.2. Relevant legislation and guidance
Children missing education
Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE)
Working together to improve school attendance
Working Together to Safeguard Children
4. Attendance and reporting long-term absence
The College monitors attendance closely, taking registers for each class four times during each day, with additional morning and afternoon registration for GCSE students. The Attendance Officer follows up each unauthorised absence with a telephone call to verify the whereabouts of the student. The College requires all students to have more than one contact number. The College will inform the Local Authority if any student fails to attend College for 10 days in succession.
Where a student has been continuously absent without authorisation for a period of not less than 20 school days and there are no reasonable grounds to believe the student is at risk, unwell or unable to attend because of any unavoidable cause and the College and the local authority have failed, following reasonable enquiry, to ascertain the whereabouts of the student, the College may remove the student’s name from the admission’s register, which it is obliged by law to maintain. The College will inform the Local Authority.
5.1. When a child goes missing
The College will make all reasonable efforts to find a child who is missing from education. This will initially involve:
If initial enquiries have been unsuccessful, then further action may require involvement of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), Facilities Manager, the Senior Leadership Team and external agencies. Actions include, but are not limited, to:
This policy, and any incidents that may have occurred in relation to children going missing, are discussed in the College’s annual safeguarding review and necessary updates and improved security measures implemented.
|Authorised by||The Principal|
|Effective date of the policy||September 2023|
|Circulation||Teaching staff / all staff / parents / students on request|
|Review date||September 2024|