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Children Missing in Education (CME)

Children Missing in Education (CME)

At Wokingham Borough Council we are concerned about any child or young person living in the area who may be missing education, as it might not just be their educational development at risk but also their safety and well-being.

Children Missing in Education are…

  • Children whose whereabouts are known but they do not have any educational provision in place
  • Children whose whereabouts are unknown and therefore so is there educational provision

They are not…

  • Children who are on a school roll.  However, if a child is not attending their registered school or education provider for 20 consecutive days then the CME Officer should be made aware
  • Children being educated at home.  However, if there are concerns regarding elective home education, please contact the EHE Officer          
  • Children whose parents have applied for a school place where the application is going through normal admissions procedures


How can you help?

If you know or suspect a child is missing from education, please let us know straight away.  Checks are ALWAYS carried out before contacting parents/carers so it is always better to advise us if you are in any doubt.

You can contact the CME Officer by phone or email, and you can remain anonymous if you wish.  By notifying us of your concerns you are helping to ensure the safety and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable children in our community and your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Who to contact:

Children Missing Education
Wokingham Borough Council
Brambles Children’s Centre
Budges Gardens
RG40 1PX

Telephone: 0118 908 8095 or 0118 974 6193

Email: CME@wokingham.gov.uk

If you have any concerns that a child is at risk of harm please contact the Duty, Triage and Assessment Team on 0118 908 8002.

More about CME

Children can go missing from education for a number of reasons (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Failure to start appropriate provision and, therefore, never enter the education system    
  • Cease to attend following a period of official exclusion from school    
  • Cease to attend because of unofficial exclusion
  • Are withdrawn from school by their parents
  • Fail to complete a transition between providers (e.g. being unable to find a suitable school place after moving to a new LA)
  • Children subject to an EHC plan awaiting placement at specialist provision


The cost of children missing out on education can be substantial – to themselves, their families and society as a whole.  Missing out on learning is linked to poor outcomes for children including:

  • Unemployment
  • Homelessness
  • Risk of offending behaviours
  • Risk of sexual exploitation
  • Substance abuse
  • Teenage pregnancies
  • Mental Health issues
  • Physical Health issues
  • Forced Marriage


Links to related Legislation and Documents: