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Child Absent In Education (CAE)

Children missing education are children of compulsory school age who are not registered pupils at a school and are not receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school. Children missing education are at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of harm, exploitation or radicalisation, and becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later in life.


If you have a safeguarding concern regarding a child you can:

Refer online via the Child Safeguarding Portal: Continue to Child Safeguarding Portal

Call 0808 800 4005, open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5:20pm (Monday – Thursday) 8am – 4:20pm (Friday) Calls are free from landlines and most mobiles.

Outside of these hours, this number will divert to the Emergency Duty Service. They can respond to any matters that cannot wait until the next working day.‚Äč

If an emergency, please call the police on 999.


For members of the public and SCC professionals

Reporting a child missing education (CME)), including out of hours

If you think a child may be missing education, please let us know by either completing


Please be aware that the CME Team will always investigate your concerns, take the appropriate action and if necessary, share any relevant information with the appropriate Suffolk County Council Team(s) or professional. However, it is not possible to provide you with any updates or further information.

If you have another query or concern with a child you believe may be missing education and would like to discuss this with the team, please email in the first instance or telephone the CME General No. 01473 265224. Voicemail available & the CME Team aim to return your call the next working day.

Birchwood Primary CME Protocols

It is the parent/carer’s responsibility to notify the school on the first day of absence before 9:30am or as soon as possible. Parents can report an absence by telephoning the school office or emailing By 9:45am, if we have concerns that a Birchwood pupil is CME, a member of the Senior Leadership Team and another member of Birchwood staff or an Educational Welfare Officer will conduct a house call to ensure that the child is safe. 

It is the parent/carer’s responsibility to continue to notify the school on each additional day of absence before 9:30am or as soon as possible.