Support for children missing school – share your views

2 mins read

Wednesday 28 June 2023

Tags: education, department for education, call for evidence, children missing school

The Department of Education in England has launched a call for evidence with the aim of improving the way it identifies and supports children missing education.

Which children are missing education?

Currently, children are considered missing education only if they are of compulsory school age and:

  • They are not registered at a school.
  • They are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at school.

In this call for evidence, the government wants to know whether to expand the definition to include:

  • Children on part-time timetables.
  • Children who are flexi-schooled.
  • Children who have ever been permanently excluded.
  • Suspended children.
  • Children not on school roll who are under age 16 and attending colleges.
  • Children of compulsory school age with low attendance.

What support is available?

These are also some of the additional questions that the government is seeking answers to from parents:

  • What works well to integrate former children missing education back into full time education and how to improve this process.
  • Whether school attendance orders (SAOs) are effective in bringing children missing education back into education.
  • What types of support could be provided to prevent children from missing education.

Take part in the call for evidence

If you would like to respond to the government’s call for evidence, you can do so on the DfE website.

The deadline for the call for evidence is 20 July 2023.

If you’d like to take part in Contact’s focus group on this subject, please email

Related information