Gathering and sharing information to prevent children being lost.
Parents’ responsibility to provide up to date information to school
It is vital that parents provide the school with full contact details. Under the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation, you are required to write to parents annually to ask them to confirm that the details you are holding are accurate.
If a child has come to you from abroad it may also be helpful to request information about their previous address and school overseas. This may aid any searches for children who return to their previous country if forwarding details are not provided at this point.
A letter could be placed in parent packs, as part of your enrolment procedures, to convey the importance of keeping school informed. This letter could also inform parents in advance that they must provide school with a forwarding address in the event of moving away.
Parents' responsibility to inform school of changes
At the earliest opportunity, parents need to be made aware of their responsibility to inform you about changes to their details, plans to move away or to change schools.
There is a model policy paragraph which could form part of the letter you place in parent packs. It could also be placed on your school website in your school brochure and used in your school attendance policy document. This paragraph requests forwarding details at the time parents are considering changing school.
Please give the Pupil Exit Form to parents as soon as you become aware the child is moving away if parents have not already provided you with their new details. In the event of any safeguarding issues coming up, this written confirmation could prove vitally important later on. If the child has moved abroad, a copy of the completed form should be sent to the Children Missing Education Department.
Hopefully your preventative measures will ensure that, in most cases, parents provide you with clear information, well in advance, about their new address and the new school that their child is moving to.
It is your responsibility to verify the new school details independently and confirm that the child is attending by getting in touch with the new school. A comprehensive list of local authority schools for the UK can be found on the Schools Web Directory website.
For children who have moved abroad, you should verify the information as above.
It is the school’s responsibility to share information with the relevant agencies where there are concerns regarding a child’s whereabouts.