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Children Missing Education
All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education which is suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs they may have. Harris Academy Sutton recognises that a child going missing from education is a potential indicator of abuse or neglect and such children are at risk of being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation, and becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) later in life. It also recognises that prolonged absence could be the result of travelling to conflict zones, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
On the day of a students’ admission, Harris Academy Sutton enters them onto the admission register and monitors their attendance through the daily electronic register. The school also contacts home on the day of any unexplained absence, alerting parents/carers of the absence. It also notifies them of any unexplained lateness after the register has closed. If a student fails to attend school and parents/carers fail to notify the school of the reason for absence, the school will undertake reasonable enquires to establish the student’s whereabouts including contacting all emergency contact numbers and home visits.
If, after all reasonable enquiries the school have been unable to make contact for 10 school days, a referral will be made to the Children Missing Education Officer. The CME Officer, in conjunction with the Borough School Attendance Service, will try to contact the parents or carers and follow up any reasonable leads. If the student is located, the reasons for absence should be established and the child must return to school as soon as possible.
Where a student has not returned to school the Local Authority will inform the school if/when student can be removed from the school admission register.
Children missing education officer
Canterbury Rd, Morden, SM4 6PX
Tel: +44 020 8288 5609 or 020 8288 5693
Borough School Attendance Service
020 8770 6605
What happens when a student does not arrive at school, and there has been no contact from home to explain absence?
• The student will be marked absent at morning registration and parents will be able to view this on ‘My Child at school’ app
• Attendance Officer will contact parents/carers via telephone by mid-morning using contact numbers provided informing them of the non-attendance. If the attendance officer is unable to contact parents/carers an automated text message and a letter will be sent to them informing of the absence.
The school will also notify parents/carers where a student arrives late for school, again using the automated contact system.
What happens when a student has not arrived home at the end of the school day?
• Harris Academy Sutton recognises the anxiety that this can cause in parents/carers, particularly where this is out of character for the student or where students usually have travelled with parents/carers.
• The school will ask parents/carers if they have tried the child’s mobile phone number and what was the result.
• The office will check with teaching staff to see if whereabouts known; they will also check enrichment clubs/detentions
• The school will advise parents/carers to check friends or family to ensure they have not called in there. Where friends’ names at school are known, the office can ring these contacts to see if the child is there. [For confidentiality reasons, friends’ contact details will not be given to other children's parents/carers]
• The school will ask parents/carers to let the school know once the child is found.
• The school will advise parents/carers to ring police if they are concerned. Parents/carers can ring the police immediately if they have serious concerns about the safety of their child; they do not have to be absent for eg 24 hours.