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Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children are recorded as missing from education, broken down by age; how many have been so recorded in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement. (190061)

The information requested by the hon. Member is not available on a national basis. A new statutory duty commenced in February 2007 for local authorities to put robust systems in place to identify children missing from education. Local authorities have been busy implementing these systems over the past year and they should now be able to provide local level data on how many children are missing in their area. However, reliable information on how many children are missing from education cannot be produced nationally using current methods of collection. This information has never been collected. The Department is considering how to collect appropriate information on children missing from education in the future.