To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 15 March to Question 229651 on Children in care, how many looked-after children placed in children's homes inside and outside the borough were reported missing in each local authority in each year since 2015.
The number of looked-after children in children’s homes who went missing or away without authorisation by placement location since 2015 for each local authority is shown in the attached table. The figures are presented in this combined way to reflect the fact that some authorities have informed the department that they do not record any incidents as 'away without authorisation' but instead report all incidents as 'missing' information.
The latest figures on children looked after who go missing are published in Table G1 of the statistical release, ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2017 to 2018’, which can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2017-to-2018.
All figures on the overall number of children who were looked after during the year, who were missing or away from placement without authorisation, are still classified as experimental statistics. This is the fourth year these statistics have been collected in this way, and local authorities have reported some variation over recent years in how these incidents are recorded.
As experimental statistics, figures are not comparable across years. Local authority comparisons should be treated with the same degree of caution and firm conclusions cannot be drawn about local practice. We will continue to assess whether the figures are considered robust enough to be classed as national statistics, rather than experimental.