NCB report on children missing education

Debbie Barnes, Chair of the ADCS Educational Achievement Policy Committee, said:

“Missing out on a good education is bad for a child’s development and ultimately for their life chances yet this report highlights that tens of thousands of children were reported as missing from education last year. Children go missing from education for many reasons, and there is no way of really knowing if the experiences they are receiving elsewhere are suitable and preparing them for adulthood. For a small but worrying minority this can be the first sign of vulnerability to all forms of abuse and neglect, including sexual exploitation or radicalisation. In the absence of national level data showing the number of children missing from education across the country many children are effectively hidden from education and, in some cases, local authority children’s services, in that we do not have a true picture of this cohort, their needs or the opportunity to offer the timely and appropriate support they need to thrive. We must be clear about identifying and preventing those who are falling through the gaps in education and championing their needs. Current legislation does not support local authorities to effectively safeguard vulnerable learners and ensure they are receiving a suitable education either in their home or in unregistered settings, also known as illegal schools. For example, there is no requirement on some schools, or on parents of children being electively home educated to provide information or evidence of the quality of their pupils’ education or their health and wellbeing. This is seriously concerning for directors of children’s services as it reduces our ability to ensure children are safe, well supported and receiving a good standard of education, and should be for government too. Without urgent action from government to bridge the gaps in legislation that currently exist vulnerable children and young people will continue to be caught in the middle.”

ENDS


Tags assigned to this article:
EDUCATION 114 EAPC 59 MISSING FROM EDUCATION 1

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