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We have a legal duty to identify children who are missing education (CME), taking action where necessary and ensuring children are receiving suitable education. This duty applies to all maintained schools, academies, free schools and independent schools.

The CME service is available for referrals when a child is absent from school and their whereabouts is unknown or that a child is not on a school roll and there does not seem to be any education in place.

Anyone with a concern that a child is missing education can make a referral to our service.

Schools must take all actions outlined in the CME referral form before submission to the CME team. This includes home visits.

Persistent absenteeism

Where a child is persistently absent schools must follow their attendance policies and procedures. Schools can trade with the appropriate traded services (including Warwickshire Attendance Services) to address attendance issues with pupils.  

Children whose education is most vulnerable can include those who:

  • are at risk of exploitation
  • are affected by domestic violence
  • live in temporary accommodation or are homeless
  • have been permanently excluded from school
  • are under the supervision of the youth justice system
  • are affected by substance or alcohol misuse
  • have been victims of bullying or discrimination
  • are at risk of ‘honour’ based violence including forced marriage
  • are at risk of female genital mutilation
  • are unaccompanied asylum seekers
  • are looked after
  • are carers
  • are teenage parents
  • have long term health problems
  • have parents with mental health problems
  • are highly mobile, such as Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families or services families
  • have parents with learning difficulties

In Warwickshire, the safety and wellbeing of our most vulnerable children is paramount. If you remain concerned about a child missing in education, please contact us straight away.

Refer a child

Complete the Children Missing Education (CME) referral form (DOCX, 72 KB) and send securely to [email protected].

For urgent concerns

About a child’s safety or well-being which requires immediate action, call the Warwickshire Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) (and police if appropriate) without delay on 01926 414144.