Children missing education (CME)
We require all schools and educational providers to notify the Children Missing Coordinator (Legal Intervention Team) if a child has left the Gateshead area and their whereabouts are unknown.
Education providers have a statutory duty that requires them to complete checks before advising the local authority of a missing child.
We expect that schools make their own checks to ascertain the whereabouts of a child where a pupil has unauthorised absence for five consecutive school days with no contact from the parent or carer. The following checks should be completed before referring to the local authority:
- Telephone calls to all contacts on the child's details
- Home visit(s) by school staff
- Speak to friends and/or known relatives at the school, or to other schools where siblings or relatives are known to attend
- Speak to school staff
- Ask neighbours living in the same area
- Talk to professionals who may be working with the family.
After the above checks have been completed and if school has not been notified that parents are seeking a school place elsewhere the Children Missing Education form must be completed (usually around 10 school days).
However, if there is a known risk or suspicion of child protection/sexual exploitation, children's services must be informed immediately and highlight actions taken on the referral form.
If you are aware that a child has arrived in the Gateshead area and are known not to be in education contact must also be made to the Children Missing Coordinator (Legal Intervention Team).