The study finds that those in care are more prone to “go
missing” as local authorities are under no legal obligation to tell
other authorities if they place a child in foster care in another
The emphasis on school league tables has also led to some
schools refusing to accept children whom they perceive as
disruptive or less likely to do well academically.
The report calls on the government to examine ways of promoting
a more vocational curriculum to reduce drop-out rates among less
academic pupils and for a greater focus on welfare-based
intervention for children with special educational needs.
Warning against punitive approaches to tackling truancy, Nacro
director of education and employment Craig Harris said: “If we are
to tackle problems of attendance, education provision should be
more relevant to the needs and abilities of all children,
regardless of whether they are academically suited of gifted
Nacro also highlights the link between disaffection at school
and future offending. Of young people referred to youth offending
teams, 41 per cent had truanted regularly prior to coming into
contact with the youth justice system and more than half were
identified as having special educational needs.
Children miss school for a wide variety of reasons including low
attainment and bullying. They sometimes drop out of the system
without trace for up to two years.
– Missing Out from 020 7840 6427.