The Ofsted School Inspection update July 2018 reports on safeguarding concerns about children absent from school.
In March 2018, City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board published a serious case review of the tragic case of Chadrack Mbala-Mulo, a four-year-old boy who had learning difficulties and lived alone with his mother, who suffered from epilepsy. His mother died unexpectedly at home in early October 2016 and Chadrack did not know how to call for help or feed himself properly. He died a fortnight later of dehydration and starvation.
The review report has important messages for schools and other local agencies about thinking safeguarding and acting promptly when a child is unexpectedly absent from school.
The report is available here: www.chscb.org.uk/?s=chadrack.
As a result of this review, the DfE guidance, ‘Keeping children safe in education’4 has been updated from September 2018 as follows:
‘Where reasonably possible, schools and colleges should hold more than one emergency contact number for each pupil or student. This goes beyond the legal minimum and is good practice to give the school or college additional options to make contact with a responsible adult when a child missing education is also identified as a welfare and/or safeguarding concern.’