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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).

Children Missing from Education Strategy, Procedures and Guidance (PDF) [1MB] (opens new window)

Children Missing Education referral form (Word doc) [167KB] (opens new window)