The lost 10,000: Are they safe? Are they in education? We don't know...

In the space of one year, more than 10,000 children left state education to destinations that are unknown to their local authorities – many because of “flimsy” data-sharing practices.
Image: Adobe Stock

In response to requests from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England, local authorities were unable to say if these young people were safe or whether they were in education.

A further 13,120 students left state education and moved into home education – more than 80% of whom were persistent or severe absentees from school. These young people were also disproportionately more likely to have SEN or be living in poverty.

The figures cover the period spring 2022 to spring 2023 and have been laid out in a new report from children’s commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza.

The report warns that an estimated 2,868 children have left state education and are now considered “a child missing education” – again they are more likely to come from deprived areas and be known to social care.

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