Children missing education (CME) reasonable enquiry form

If at any time, there are safeguarding concerns for the child, a referral must be made immediately to

Completing your referral

For pupils to be considered as children missing education (CME):

  1. They have been absent for ten school days, and you have not been able to contact their family in that time to establish their whereabouts.
  2. They appear to be of statutory school age and have no education provision.
  3. They have left and your enquiries have not been able to secure the following information within ten school days of their last attendance:
    • Their new address (if they have moved)
    • The contact details of the parent they will be living with (or the full details of the adult responsible for their care if they will not be living with their parent/s
    • The name and address of their new school
    • Confirmation they have been admitted to their new school.

All information is required for every leaver, whether they have moved within the UK or have moved abroad.

Full information on the CME process can be found on the Children Missing Education (CME)

For CME queries or further guidance please call 020 8825 5517.

Referral checklist

Referral is ready to submit

  • Home visit has been completed.
  • All enquiries have been completed.
  • The pupil is a child missing education in Nursery to Year 11.
  • The pupil has been absent for 10 school days, and you cannot contact the pupil/family
  • The pupil has left and your enquiries have not established the required information for leavers (see above), within ten school days of their last date of attendance.

Referral is not ready to submit

  • Home visit not completed. Please be aware that your referral will not be accepted if the home visit has not been completed
  • Some enquiries are yet to be completed.
  • The pupil is over statutory school age (please refer them to Connexions)
  • Pupil is absent but you are still in contact with the family please speak to your Link Attendance Officer
  • Pupil has left but is living within travelling distance of your school (a maximum of 45-minute journey for primary school pupils; 75-minutes for high school pupils depending on the individual circumstances and the difficulty of the journey)

What else to send

  • Any communication with parents regarding absence/lack of education provision, or other documents that may provide background or useful information
  • A registration certificate is not required, but the last date of attendance must be provided

How to submit your referral via Gateway

If you are submitting this referral from a school and are happy you have completed the required enquiries, please upload this form and any supporting information via Gateway. Here is the CME reasonable enquiry form. If you do not have a Gateway account do check with your SENCo if you are unsure. Contact to set one up. Your account must be linked to a personal school email address, not a generic/ team school admin.

How to submit your referral if you do not have access to Gateway

  • If you are not submitting your referral from a school, or your school does not have access to Gateway please send your reasonable enquiry form to via secure email. Referrals must not be sent via email if access to Gateway is available.
  • The subject of the email must contain the school’s name and the initials of the child/ren being referred. If you do not have access to a secure email system, please password protect your form and contact us separately with the document password.
  • Children missing education, School attendance service: 8825 5517
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Last updated: 12 Sep 2023

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