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Luton Borough Council

Children missing education (CME)

Please note that a child missing education referral by Luton schools must be submitted via the School Portal. The portal is now available for making CME referrals and will be made mandatory from September 2023.

For colleagues in Luton schools who are registered to submit CME referrals, please use the new CME schools portal.

Also, schools will only be able to submit CME referrals using the approved email address which is the email address that you have provided as the approved contact(s) in your school to make the referrals to Children Missing Education.

Please ensure that the referrals are made using the correct and approved email, otherwise submissions will not be completed. If there are any changes to the contact details for submission of CME referrals, please contact us with the updated email address.

Please note that a separate referral is required for each child including any siblings at the same school.

All children are entitled to receive a full time education, either at school or otherwise, which is suitable to their age, aptitude and ability and any special educational needs they may have.

  • Local authorities have a duty to establish, as far as is possible, the identity of children of compulsory school age within their area.
  • Maintained schools have safeguarding duties under section 175 of the Education Act 2002 in respect of their pupils and, as part of this, should investigate any unexplained absences.
  • Academies and independent schools have a similar safeguarding duty for their pupils.

CME definition

The Department for Education (DfE) defines CME as ‘children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school’.

CME policy and procedures are in place to ensure that children missing, or at risk of missing, education are:

  • identified
  • tracked
  • re-engaged in appropriate full-time education

This is also ensure that children who move out of Luton are tracked until they're engaged in education elsewhere, so that no child ‘slips through the net’.

Any child or young person who is missing education may not only be at risk of poor educational outcomes but also their safety and wellbeing.

CME are children:

  • whose whereabouts are known but they do not have any educational provision in place
  • whose whereabouts are unknown and therefore their educational provision and wellbeing is not known

CME are not:

  • on a school roll - if a child is not attending their registered school or education provider, the Education Welfare team should be contacted for non-attendance
  • being educated at home
  • children whose parents have applied for a school place where the application is going through normal admissions procedures

Who should be referred to CME

A CME referral should be completed for a child of compulsory school age.

  • Missing school, where all reasonable enquiries have been completed in collaboration with the EWO and it is established that the child is no longer living at the registered address.
  • Following reasonable enquiries, been confirmed as moved abroad.
  • Not returned from extended leave on the agreed date and enquiries have been completed, within a period of ten days. Where a child is found at the address, who has returned from abroad, they must not be removed from roll and the school / EWO should proceed with non-school interventions as appropriate.

For all the above categories, a CME referral must be submitted via the CME school portal.

How you can help us

All professionals working with children, as well as the wider community, can help by remaining vigilant to children’s safety.

The law states every child should be receiving an education and we stand a better chance of ensuring a child’s safety if we know where and how they're receiving this.

If you're aware of a child who is not registered with a school or educational provision and is out of education, please complete the referral form below.

If at any time a school has child protection concerns, in line with our threshold guidance, the school MUST report this to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on:

Tel: 01582 547653
Email: [email protected]

© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ