Services for children

CME reasonable enquiry process during COVID-19

CME referral during COVID 19

During the coronavirus this process should be followed for children missing education (CME). Read about the procedure in the CME referral flow chart.

When to use this process

You can use the reasonable enquiry form (available in the download section below):

  • Where pupils have stopped attending or engaging with the learning offer and attempts to make contact have not been successful and no leaver’s form has been completed.
  • If a leaver’s form has been submitted with no destination school.

Please remember that it is the school’s responsibility to ensure all information is provided by parents/carers of children leaving their school.

Where parents/carers state that they have made an application for a school place for their child/ren, but have not yet been allocated one, the school must contact the admissions department of the family’s new local authority for confirmation this has been received. This must be done before taking the child off roll.

When to not use this process

Don't follow this process:

  • If pupils who have stopped attending but have not moved are non-attenders, not CME. i.e. where the local authority link attendance officer has confirmed the parent is still liable for council tax at the home address and it is believed the child is still living there.
  • If parents are still in contact with the school, engaging with the on-line learning and claim the child will return and there is justifiable reason for delay (i.e. during Covid lockdown restrictions). These pupils must remain on the school’s roll and be coded in line with current DfE guidance.

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

Before you submit a reasonable enquiry form

Follow the procedure below before submitting a reasonable enquiry form:

  1. Begin enquiries on the third day of absence where there has been no contact from parents or carers (if you have no knowledge of the child’s whereabouts). Enquiries can be telephone calls, text messages and emails. It is advisable to try all forms of communication available. Three attempts at contact, on separate days, is required before submitting an enquiry to CME.
  2. Home visits must be carried out by the tenth day.
    • High Schools will have their own Attendance Officers or Safer Schools Officer
    • Primary Schools can contact their Local Authority Link Attendance Officer to assist with home visits within ten days of the first day absence.
  3. Submit the reasonable enquiry form and the child’s registration certificate to by secure email/Egress on the tenth day of absence if the child still has not returned to school and you cannot contact their parent/carer to establish where they are and why they are not attending.
  4. If the procedure has not been followed, the reasonable enquiry forms may be returned with instructions for the school to complete their enquiries .

When is it appropriate to take a pupil off the school roll?

20 days continuous absence, where there has been no communication between parent and school/Local Authority.

After both the school and Local Authority have tried to locate the pupil and Reasonable Enquiry has been undertaken, and this form has been returned to the Local Authority CME team who have agreed off rolling after council tax and social care checks, and/or confirmed referral made to CME in their new Local Authority.

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Last updated: 03 Jun 2020