Services for children

Children missing education (CME)

The CME service identifies, tracks and follows up all children who are not receiving suitable education, with the aim of ensuring they are helped to access education as quickly as possible.

There is continuing liaison with other agencies likely to encounter CME and the public are invited to refer any child they understand not to be in education.

CME are those of compulsory school age, and not on a school roll or in alternative suitable educational provision, for more than 20 school days.

There is a statutory duty in the Education Act 1996 for local authorities to identify and track CME and maintain a CME register.


Ealing's CME guidance - September 2020 (pdf)
Ealing’s guidance on CME includes local contact details and procedures as well as template letters and forms.

CME letters and forms

Useful documents and links

DfE statutory guidance on children missing education (GOV.UK).

Guidance on removing pupils from the school roll (pdf)


There is a natural overlap with safeguarding as children missing education are at risk of under-achieving, abuse and exploitation.

The designated safeguarding lead in the school should be aware of the school’s duties and responsibilities in the key areas of attendance, admissions and CME.

They should ensure that staff are similarly aware so that they can raise any concerns they have and ensure that the necessary safeguarding procedures are instigated, when appropriate.

Schools should make referrals regarding children missing education to Ealing's CME officer. Please contact the CME officer for advice.

Privacy notice for school attendance, children missing education and child employment service

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Last updated: 15 Mar 2022