Missing child 

Safeguarding children, young people, and vulnerable adults’ procedures 

In the building 

  • As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing, the member of staff informs the designated person who initiates a search within the setting. 
  • If the child is found on-site, the designated person checks on the welfare of the child and investigates the circumstances of the incident. 
  • If the child is not found on site, one member of staff searches the immediate vicinity, if there is no sign of the child, the police are called immediately. 
  • The parents are then called and informed. 
  • The designated person contacts their designated officer, to inform them of the situation and seek assistance. 

Off-site (outing or walk) 

  • As soon as it is noticed that a child is missing, the manager/deputy present carries out a headcount. 
  • One member of staff searches the immediate vicinity.  
  • If the child is not found, the senior staff calls the police and then contacts the designated person. 
  •  The designated person informs the parents. 
  • Members of staff return the children to the setting as soon as possible if it is safe to do so. According to the advice of the police, one senior member of staff should remain at the site where the child went missing and wait for the police to arrive. 
  • The designated person contacts the designated officer, who attends the setting. 

Recording and reporting 

  • A record is made of the event, what happened and the outcome. 

The investigation  

  • Ofsted are informed as soon as possible (and at least within 14 days).  
  • The designated officer carries out a full investigation.  
  • The designated person and the designated officer speak with the parents together and explain the process of the investigation. 
  • Each member of staff present during the incident writes a full report. Staff do not discuss any missing child incident with other parents or the press. 

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