Children missing education: Families’ experiences

Lankelly Chase & NCB (2017)
Published by the National Children’s Bureau

The main focus of this report is on qualitative interviews with families whose children are not in education, but it also discusses some issues which will be of interest to strategy and policy colleagues. The report authors look at the various estimates of the number of children missing education, from 10,000 to 100,000. There is a discussion of the definition of children missing education which will be helpful to LSCBs in monitoring services for this group. The three LAs on which they focus had very widely varying rates of prevalence of children missing, partly because of differences in definitions and ways of identifying children. One LA noted recent increases in numbers (sometimes linked to illegal permanent exclusions from schools) and another was using data to identify trends around primary school children. The report authors recommend the introduction national guidance on data collection and publication of local figures.

We think this thoughtful report will be useful to performance managers, stategic leads and to multi-agency organisations such as LSCBs in assisting them to be confident about local processes for identifying and supporting this vulnerable group, and in understanding some of the challenges for these families. We could support you in looking at your local data on children missing education – for instance, how many have particular needs or are also receiving services as children in need: please get in touch if you would like to discuss this.


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