"We have long raised with government that councils lack the powers to ensure that children who are missing school don’t slip through the net."
Responding to plans announced by the Department for Education to drive up attendance in schools, Cllr Louise Gittins, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“Good attendance at school plays a vital role in children’s development and for their well-being, and it is positive government has set out measures to improve this.
“However we have long raised with government that councils lack the powers to ensure that children who are missing school don’t slip through the net.
“Despite having a legal duty to ensure a school place for every child, councils do not have the ability to direct academies to accept pupils, even if they are the most appropriate school for a pupil.
“Under the current arrangements, children not in school are invisible to councils and the services that keep them safe. This is why it is vital the Government legislates for a register of children who are not in school, combined with powers for councils to meet face-to-face with children.”