Undestanding why Children Go Missing in Education

Freedie is 14, and lives in a children’s home . she was removed from the family home 3 years ago due to parental drug misuse and neglect.

Freedie has had to look after herself since she was a child and finds it difficult to talk to young people her own age.  She prefers to be with adults. She is questioning her sexuality and identifies as a lesbian and trans.

Freedie has moved around a lot and missed most of her primary school education due to problems at home.  Now she struggles with basic reading and writing and is many years behind in all subjects.  She doesn’t like being singled out for extra help.

Freedie was removed from her previous secondary school due to non-attendance. She is now registered at the Watershed Secondary School but her attendance is very poor.  

Two meeting have been held at school to discuss Freddie’s poor attendance.  Although invited, no one from children’s services or her children’s home was able to attend.  An attendance support plan is in place to try and improve.  Freddie’s attendance.

Missing from School:

Freddie’s key worker drops her at the school each day at 8.30am but Freddie leaves the school premises soon after

She has not attended school for three weeks

In addition, Freddie, has now started to go missing from the children’s home at night when she is picked up by a man in a car.

What are your possible Concerns?

  • Freddie is at high risk;
  • She is vulnerable to being exploited sexually and being coerced into crime;
  • Freddie has no family to support her
  • She is mixing with older people and may be accepting gifts and money;
  • Freddie has no friends her own age to support here;
  • She is living in a care home and may not have appropriate supervision or support
  • Due to her early childhood experiences, Freddie could be experiencing trauma and poor mental health.

What is the role of the staff in understanding why children go Missing in Education in this care?

  • To raise any concerns immediately and to share information.
  • As the governors of the school, SCHOOL must ensure that procedures are in place to safeguard children missing in education and that staff are trained.
  • As Children’s Services have a duty to find children missing in Education and to provide appropriate education provision.