Each school and education provision is required to have contact with pupils to ensure their safety and well-being, in person, albeit virtually. If no contact has been possible, the school or education provider should have done the following:
1. Done everything in its power to contact the parent/carer to reach the child or young person:
- Exhausted every means of contacting the child or young person remotely
- Phone calls – all numbers including extended family
- Text to request contact
- Is the child engaging/contactable through the school's portal/website and, where possible, able check social media sites that you are aware the child might access?
- Tried visiting the child’s address, remembering to practice personal safety and social distancing. The guidance can be accessed via the .gov.uk website
- Where other known siblings attend other schools, check to see if the other school is having contact with the family.
- Check if there a social worker or SEND officer involved. Contact them directly and they will support and oversee the risk assessment
- Where other services (health etc) are known to be involved, check with them to see if they have had contact with the family.
- If all of the above have been tried, text the family to say that ‘contact is urgently required and the school will need to escalate the concern to other agencies if there is no response to the text’.
2. If there are safeguarding concerns, follow the school’s safeguarding procedures and ensure that all of the actions above have been completed
3. If unable to locate the child or young person’s whereabouts following the above attempts, and the school have exhausted every option to try to locate the child, then the child is a missing person and as such should be reported to the Police in the first instance. Local Authority Social Care services should also be notified.
4. Schools should complete a Child Missing Education (CME) referral to the Inclusion Team when the child’s attendance cannot be confirmed after 4 days. The safe and wellbeing checks will remain the responsibility of the school and should continue to pursue this action.
To access Rutland County Council’s Children Missing Education guidance and Children Missing from Education guidance for education providers please click here.