Millions of Children Missing Out on Their Education

All children in the UK have the right to have a decent education that will help them to maximise their potential.  However, this is not the case for hundred of students that have never interacted with the education system, nor the estimated 1.8 million children that missed at least 10% of school in the autumn term in England in 2021.


Missing 10% of school is classed as being persistently absent, but astonishingly local councils often don’t have comprehensive, reliable data regarding why students are missing education, or the numbers that are being home educated meaning that they are unable to address the problem in any meaningful way.  This is even though children missing education are at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of harm, exploitation and becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training).


The Nisai Virtual Academy, an alternative education provider that specialises in helping those children with the biggest barriers to education is therefore now pushing for the Government to ensure that they protect the education of our future generations by ensuring that local councils put in place the procedures they need to ensure that all children in the UK are accounted for in the education system.


Dhruv Patel said “The Government would need to recognise that providing a proper education for our children is a key part of our wellbeing as a nation at any time but with the pandemic this has never been so important.  It is therefore astonishing that local councils who have direct responsibility for the provision of education do not seem to be accountable for swathes of our young people, especially those that are more likely to have special educational needs and/or disabilities.”  


He continued: “12.2% of the students in England have SEN, many of whom have found it difficult to access education remotely or cope with the unexpected transitions between settings. It is therefore no surprise that it is 9 times more likely that a child with SEN will be excluded from school, a fact that makes them particularly at risk of exploitation by ruthless gangs that specialise in targeting the most vulnerable in society.  The Department of Education therefore need to think carefully about how they should engage with local councils to ensure they do take their safeguarding responsibilities for children seriously and therefore we urge them to put guidelines on this issue that councils must follow”.  

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