The Department for Education has updated guidance for local authorities and schools to help children who are missing education get back into it. The updates reflect recent changes to the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 and follow the consultation on children missing education in January 2016.
The main changes from September 2016 are:
- All schools (including academies and independent schools) must notify their local authority when they are about to remove a pupil's name from the school admission register under any of the fifteen grounds listed in the regulations. This duty does not apply when a pupil's name is removed from the admission register at standard transition points – when the pupil has completed the final year of education normally provided by that school – unless the local authority requests that such returns are to be made.
- When removing a pupil's name, the notification to the local authority must include:
- the full name of the pupil,
- the full name and address of any parent with whom the pupil normally resides,
- at least one telephone number of the parent,
- the pupil's future address and destination school, if applicable, and
- the ground in regulation 8 under which the pupil's name is to be removed from the admission register
- Schools must make reasonable enquiries to establish the whereabouts of the child jointly with the local authority, before deleting the pupil's name from the register, if the deletion is for one of the following reasons:
- A pupil has been granted leave of absence exceeding ten school days for the purpose of a holiday in accordance with regulation and has failed to attend schools within the ten school days immediately following the expiry period for the leave (and this is not for reasons of sickness or unavoidable absence).
- The pupil has been continuously absent from the school for a period of not less than twenty school days and the absence has not been authorised at any point during that time and is not due to sickness or unavoidable absence.
- All schools must also notify the local authority within five days of adding a pupil's name to the admission register at a non-standard transition point. The notification must include all the details contained in the admission register for the new pupil. This duty does not apply when a pupil's name is entered in the admission register at a standard transition point – at the start of the first year of education normally provided by that school – unless the local authority requests that such returns are to be made.
- When adding a pupil's name, the notification to the local authority must include all the details contained in the admission register for the new pupil.
The full guidance document can be found here. These changes have also been reflected in the updated Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance for schools.