Children Missing Education

Children Missing Education

Children Missing Education (CME)

Children Missing Education (CME) are children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school ie privately or electively home education (EHE).

You can view the current policy & processes document here


Why is the work around Children Missing Education (CME) a priority?

All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to an efficient, full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have.

Children missing education are at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation, and becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later in life.

Effective information sharing between parents, schools and local authorities is critical to ensuring that all children of compulsory school age are safe and receiving suitable education.


Children Missing Education process in Bradford (not on the roll of a school)

If you are a member of the public and believe a child of compulsory school age to be missing education, please contact us on 01274 438877 or

If you are a professional and believe a child of compulsory school age to be missing education, please complete the CME referral form and submit securely to


Families new to Bradford

If you are a family that is new to Bradford and requires support to secure initial access to education for your children, please contact us on 01274 439393 or

Alternatively you can attend our drop-in which runs on a Tuesday from 9:30-11:30 at Britannia House, BD1 1EE.

If you are a professional working with a family new to Bradford who require support to secure initial access to education for their children, please complete the Education Access Team referral form along with consent and submit securely to 

For more information please visit Access Team | Bradford Schools Online


Joint Enquiries process in Bradford (children who are on the roll of a school whose absence is unexplained and their whereabouts unknown

We offer a referral service to all maintained schools, academies, free schools and independent schools for pupils whose absence is unexplained and their whereabouts are unknown.

Referrals can be made using the Joint Enquiries referral form completed electronically and sent securely to by schools when they believe a child’s absence to be unexplained and upon doing their enquiries as part of their attendance procedures, the pupils whereabouts remains unknown. Referrals must be made within 10 school days of a child last attending or their whereabouts were last known. Referrals must be fully complete, incomplete referrals will be returned to the sender and will need to be resubmitted in full completeness before action is taken.

Joint enquiries require the input of school and the local authority, should you have any additional information about the family’s location, please update us urgently.

Whilst emails are the preferred method of contact, we endeavour to be available to offer telephone advice and guidance during office hours, please contact us on 01274 438877. If we are unavailable, we will get back to you as soon as possible. 


Reasonable enquiries by school

Schools must follow their own policies and procedures for responding to pupils not attending school. As soon as a child is believed to be missing education, enquiries in preparation for a referral for joint enquiries should include:

  • Contacting family, relatives, neighbours and where appropriate landlords and other significant adults or contacts
  • Making enquiries within school with class teachers, friends (if appropriate)
  • Liaising with schools attended by siblings
  • Conducting home visits -home visits must be recent (within the 5 school days before referring) and be completed within the period in which the child is believed to missing education.
  • Sending letters, emails and/or text messages/whatsapps.
  • Checking with previous schools
  • Checking with other agencies known to be working with the family
  • If you have been provided with a forwarding address in the UK, it is expected that you make enquiries with that Local Authority

This list is not exhaustive; cases should be taken on an individual basis meaning that enquiries may differ case to case.

If at any point there is reason to believe a child is in immediate danger or at risk of harm, a referral should be made to children’s social care (and the police if appropriate).


Important points:

  • Siblings-Where there are siblings at other schools, please liaise with them before making a referral. In some cases, the other schools may have located the family through enquiries and therefore a referral will not be required.
  • Moved within Bradford, ceased to attend and not within reasonable travelling distance from their registered school- A “reasonable distance” is defined by the DfE as being 45 minutes away by public transport if the child is of a primary school age, or 1 hour 15 minutes if the pupil is of a secondary school age. It will not normally be appropriate to remove a child from roll until the school receives confirmation that the family are residing at the new address; and there is confirmation that the child/parent has submitted a new application with school admissions. If there is no record of an application, schools should support the family to complete a new application and confirm admissions have received it before off rolling.
  • Moved to another Local Authority and ceased to attend- Where a family have provided an address in another Local Authority, enquiries must be made with that authority to confirm the whereabouts of the family. If you cannot get confirmation from the new authority within 10 school days of the child last attending your school or their whereabouts being last known, please proceed to refer for joint enquiries.
  • Moved out of the country- If the child is confirmed to be out of the country for no less than 20 school days and there is no evidence or clear intention of a return to their ordinary residence in Bradford, providing there are no safeguarding concerns, deletion from roll under 8(1)(e) may apply. If in doubt, please contact us as a referral for joint enquiries may be required.
  • Non-compulsory school aged children- Children who are not compulsory school age should be referred as CME if there are safeguarding concerns, if the child is a sibling of a compulsory school aged child and/or if they are due to become compulsory school age in the upcoming term. Information on compulsory school age can be found here.
  • Additional information- Not all children reported for joint enquiries are located, if you have any information about a family’s whereabouts, even after conclusion, please contact us.


Secure email

Emails can be sent securely to the if you are sending from one of the following domains:

If you are not sending from one of these domains, you will need to check with the relevant person within your organisation about using additional encryption such as Galaxkey before you send the email. It is your responsibility to assure yourself that information you send can be received securely by its intended recipient.


Guidance on removing children from the admission register/ off –rolling

Regulation 8 of The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 provides clear grounds for when a pupil of compulsory school age can be deleted from the admission register.

Guidance on removing children from the admission register can be found here.

All schools are required to notify the Local Authority within 5 days when a pupil's name is added to the admission register at a non-standard transition point. Schools must also notify the local authority when a pupil's name is to be removed from the admissions register at a non-standard transition point under any of the fifteen grounds set out in the Pupil Registration Regulations within 5 school days. The on/off roll proforma allows schools to submit this information to the Local Authority easily.

The on/off roll proforma can be found here. You will be required to log onto Bradford Schools Online to access this function. Information of how to access the on/off roll proforma can be found here.

Please ensure the proforma is completed in full with your most up to date information. If you have ascertained details of a new school, please check that you have the full name and address of the school. is a useful website to use when confirming the details of other schools in England.


School 2 school (S2S) data transfer system

When a pupil transfers from a school in your area and the destination school is not known, the school should create a CTF file using XXX for the destination LA and XXXX as the destination school number, and upload it. Each file should hold information on only one pupil.

If a pupil arrives in a school and the previous school is not known, the school should ask IMT to search the database for a matching record using gender, names or former names and date of birth. School users cannot search the lost pupil database. See Common Transfer Files (CTFs) | Bradford Schools Online.

Further information and guides can be found online.


Grounds for deletion under 8.1(e) of the Pupil Registration Regulations where the pupil has ceased to attend, is believed to be out of the country and no longer ordinarily resident in Bradford.

If a child is known to be out of the country for a significant period (not less than 20 school days) and there is no proof of or clear intention to return to a Bradford address, providing there are no safeguarding concerns the following applies:

It is the decision of the proprietor as to whether the grounds for deletion under 8.1(e) of the Pupil Registration Regulations have been met. In considering whether the grounds for removal have been met, the proprietor should ask:

Has the pupil ceased to attend the school?

Is it believed that the pupil is out of the country and therefore no longer ordinarily resident at a place which is a reasonable distance from his registered school?

Have the parents/carers/guardian of the pupil been advised that if they are unable to provide proof of address or a return date that they will be removed from roll and lose their school place meaning they will need to re-apply for a school place if they return to Bradford?

Should school take legal advice on whether grounds for deletion are met?

If the proprietor believes that grounds for deletion have been met under Pupil Registration Regulations: Grounds for deleting a pupil of compulsory school age from the school admission register under 8.1(e) then the school should make efforts to confirm to the family that the pupil has been removed from roll and that they will need to re-apply via school admissions if they choose to return to Bradford. Advice around how to re-apply should be given and the Admissions Team contact number should be provided (01274 439200).

All schools (including academies and independent schools) must notify their local authority when they are to remove a pupil's name from the school admission register under any of the fifteen grounds listed in the 2006 regulations (as amended). Please complete the off-roll proforma on Bradford Schools Online.

If you become aware that the child has either returned to or never left Bradford after removal from roll, please support the family to submit a new application wherever possible and notify us by emailing


New year 7 pupils- September 2023

The purpose of this guidance is to help clarify the situation and to ensure that children who fail to arrive at their new secondary school are identified and supported as soon as possible.

  1. All Year 7 children who arrive at their allocated secondary school in September should be admitted onto the Admissions and Attendance Rolls automatically.
  2. All Year 7 children who fail to arrive, but whose parents have informed the school that they wish to accept the offer of a place should be placed on roll automatically – poor attendance procedures should then be followed and their non-attendance escalated via the Staged Intervention Approach to Poor Attendance if necessary.
  3. Year 7 children who do not arrive at their allocated secondary school, AND have not notified the school that they wish to accept a place, should not be placed on roll until either…
    1. The school conducts reasonable enquiries (such as home visits, contacting previous school, family members, emergency contacts etc) and the child finally arrives at the school and can then be placed on the school roll from the first date of attendance OR
    2. The school conducts reasonable enquiries, and the school ascertains that the family are refusing to send their child to the allocated school, in which case the LA Prosecution Team must be informed via, and a place must be held by the school for the child whilst enquiries are ongoing and a School Attendance Order considered, OR
    3. The school conducts reasonable enquiries, and the family cannot be found, at which point a CME Referral is made.  The CME team will undertake their enquiries and once the school and LA can agree that joint reasonable enquiries have failed to ascertain where the pupil is, it will be agreed that the place is no longer needed.

Schools are primarily responsible for notifying the council of any children who fail to arrive and completing reasonable checks.  A failure to do this may result in a child being placed at risk of significant risk of harm and is a failure of a school’s duties to safeguard children.

This guidance applies to the Primary to Secondary Transition group for September 2023 only and does not apply to any other transition group or to in-year transfers.  If you have any further questions about this guidance, please contact



Useful links

Page owned by Amy Petschak, last updated on 06/02/2024. This page has been viewed 46,224 times.

Other pages in this section