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 policy - January 2020 (word)
Ealing’s guidance on CME includes local contact details and procedures as well as template letters and forms.

CME forms for use during the coronavirus

Useful documents and links

Children missing education (GOV.UK)
DfE statutory guidance.

Guidance on removing pupils from the school roll (word) - January 2020
Information on the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006.

CME best practice points (word) - January 2020
Main points for schools.

Key messages

In-year admissions and CME - January 2017 update (word)
Key messages on school admissions and best practice.

Leavers and CME (word)
Key messages on best practice and statutory duties to deal with leavers and school absence.

Other CME matters (word)
Key messages on school staff wider duty towards welfare of children, and links to training and reviews.


There is an obvious overlap with safeguarding as CME are at risk of other disadvantages in addition to under-achieving, such as abuse and exploitation.

The designated safeguarding lead in the school should, even where not the lead for admissions, leavers and CME, be aware of the school’s duties and responsibilities in these areas.

They should ensure that staff are similarly aware and that if they have concerns raise these so safeguarding procedures are instigated when appropriate.

Schools should make referrals about CME to Ealing's in-year admissions and CME team. Please contact the team for advice.

Contact us

School attendance service
Tel: 020 8825 5040

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Last updated: 04 Jun 2020