Children: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 22nd February 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Conservative, South West Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what systems are in place for a Children Missing Education Officer to contact HM Revenue and Customs to request information on a family where there are concerns about a child not receiving a suitable education.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Local authorities (LA) have a duty to make arrangements to establish, as far as possible, the identities of children of compulsory school age in their area who are not registered pupils at a school and are not otherwise receiving suitable education. The Department issues statutory guidance to enable LAs to implement this legal duty.

This guidance does not include a prescriptive or comprehensive list of all possible actions LAs could undertake when trying to locate a child, but does set out that in some cases it may be appropriate for LAs to make enquiries via other agencies.

The guidance sets out that LAs could ‘follow local information sharing arrangements and where possible make enquiries via other local databases and agencies e.g. those of housing providers, school admissions, health services, police, refuge, Youth Justice Services, children’s social care, and HMRC’. The guidance advises LAs that it may be helpful to have local contacts with the HMRC, and other agencies, to assist them in tracing children missing education.

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