Children missing education

Do you know a child who is missing from education?

In Haringey we are concerned about any child or young person who is missing out on their education.

It may not only be their education at risk, but also their safety and welfare. That’s why we need your support.

By letting us know about young people you believe are missing from education, we can make sure they are safe and in receipt of education as soon as possible. Everyone needs to play their part in protecting children missing from education.

What should I do if I am worried a child may be missing from education?

Please contact us as soon as possible if you know of a child who is not in school and may not be receiving education at home.

Complete our online Children Missing Education form:

Report children missing education

Or contact us using the details below.

If you believe a child is at immediate risk of harm, call the Police on 999.

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Who are children missing from education?

These are children and young people aged 5-16 who are:

  • not registered at a school
  • poorly attending school or education provision
  • not being educated at home or through another approved educational provision

Every child and young person aged 5-16 is legally entitled to full-time education, whatever their needs or circumstances. When children and young people are not in school they are missing out on the essential learning they need to progress in life. When a child or young person misses education, it could be an indication there is something wrong in their home life or with their physical and mental wellbeing.

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What are the dangers?

Children missing education are more likely to be at risk of:

  • harm or neglect
  • being abused or exploited at home
  • being illegally employed
  • becoming involved in criminal activity
  • committing antisocial behaviour
  • misusing drugs and alcohol

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Why do children miss education?

The most common reasons can include:

  • parents/carers not realising the age a child should start primary school or move up to secondary school
  • not attending school due to bullying, illness or other issues
  • parents/carers taking their child out of school due to a dispute or disagreement
  • families moving house frequently or becoming homeless
  • families newly arrived to the UK
  • no school places being available when a family moves to a new area
  • families experiencing breakdown and/or domestic abuse
  • parents/carers deciding to home educate and not informing the local authority
  • children caring for a member of the family
  • children in domestic servitude

Parents/carers can choose to educate children at home, and it is advisable they inform the local authority of their intentions. If they don’t, the child or young person may be considered to be missing education.

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What happens after I report a concern?

We all have a responsibility to protect children and help those who are missing out on their education. By contacting us you are ensuring the safety and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable children and young people within our community.

The longer a child is missing from education, the more likely it is for any problems to become entrenched. By sharing information with us about the children and young people who you think or know are missing from education, we can make sure they are safe, and registered at a school or an alternative educational setting as soon as possible.

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Contact the Children Missing Education team

Contact us at:

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Page last updated:

August 30, 2023