Statutory guidance

Children missing education

Statutory guidance for local authorities and advice for other groups on helping children who are missing education get back into it.



This statutory guidance is for local authorities. Statutory guidance is issued by law; you must follow it unless you have a good reason not to.

It applies to:

  • local-authority-maintained schools
  • academies and free schools
  • independent schools

This guidance will help local authorities comply with their legal responsibilities to:

  • identify children missing education
  • get these children back into education

Other organisations or people helping children who are missing education will also find this guidance useful, including:

  • school leaders
  • school staff
  • governing bodies
  • youth offending teams
  • health professionals
  • the police