Children missing education (CME)

All local authorities have a statutory duty to provide school places for children of compulsory school age and establish (as far as it is possible to do so) the identities of children in the area who are not registered at a school, or receiving a suitable education otherwise than at school.

In order to deliver this duty, we must track children no longer accessing education in the city to identify that they are not children missing education (CME). We will also carry out a variety of enquiries related to children of compulsory school age who are believed to be resident within our city, but without an education provision.

Why might children be missing from education?

There are various reasons for this which include, but are not limited to:

  • Child not starting at school when they reach compulsory school age and therefore never entering the system
  • Failing to transition between schools. For example, at phase transfer or if a family moves from one local authority to another
  • A delay in applying for a new school place upon arriving in the city
  • Refusing an alternative offer of a school place, when the preferred school is full
  • Leaving a school, with no forwarding education provision or destination

Which form do I need?

Making a CME referral - Professionals

Professionals – for all other referrers

It is important that agencies work cooperatively and information is shared in a timely manner. If you are aware of a child missing education, a referral should be made to the CME Officer as soon as possible.

Please be advised that we do not accept referrals where a Southampton address cannot be provided for the pupil(s) in question. If you are unsure whether an address falls under Southampton City Council, please use this tool to check.

Make a CME referral (Professionals)

Making a CME referral - Schools

Schools within Southampton City Council – if you are a member of staff at a school within the Southampton City Council boundary.

Please complete the form and send securely to Children Missing Education via AnyComms.

Make a CME referral (Schools)

Making a CME referral - Community

Community – if you are a member of the community who is aware of a child living in your area who you believe may be missing education

Make a CME referral (Community)

Follow up action will be taken, but for confidentiality reasons, we will be unable to provide feedback to you.

Contact details

Children Missing Education officer: 023 8083 3666
Email: childrenmissingeducation@southampton.gov.uk