6.4 EKC Missing Child Policy

Our Club has the highest regard for the safety of the children in our care. Staff will always be extremely aware of the potential for children to go missing before, during sessions and when on trips.

Before Session

  • We will check our voicemail during set up for the session to see if we have been informed of any child who won’t be attending (though we ask all parents to cancel via Magic Booking some will text or phone).
  • We will check with the school office before session starts whether any children are not in attendance that day eg they have gone home from school due to illness.
  • We will have produced a KS1 class pick up list of children attending for our pick up and this should be amended for ourselves and teachers when we know a child will not be attending, often the teacher will let us know that a child on our list has gone home or hasn’t been in school that day.
  • KS1 Children should be checked off against the class list before bringing them to club, then checked in on the tablet on arrival.
  • KS2 children are checked in on arrival by queuing up at the tablet point, if any children remain unaccounted for we should double check they are not with another club (though school provide a list we should not assume it is up to date as the other club leader may not have informed school).
  • The school yard should be checked should the child have forgotten they are coming to club and are waiting for their parent – school often identify these children and bring them to us to check but we should not rely on this.
  • We will do a search of the premises
  • If the child is not located after doing all the above in the first 15 minutes of club start time for that age group (KS1/KS2) we need to contact the parent to establish the whereabouts of the child (if the parent informs us they are not in club and they have forgotten to cancel we should check the child off the Magic Booking record register and remind the parent of the importance of letting us know).
  • If the parent does not know the whereabouts of the child, after speaking to school we should inform the police. The Manager and Supervisors are responsible for keeping the parents informed, liaising with the police and coordinating the search activity as well as insuring the remaining children are adequately supervised.

If a parent cannot be spoken to immediately a voicemail should be left straight away and a text sent immediately. In the vast majority of cases a parent responds very quickly to a text or voicemail message when they are at work as they may be unable to answer the phone.

During a Session

Staff will undertake periodic head counts, especially at the transition points between activities and exit/entry. If for any reason a member of staff cannot account for a child’s whereabouts during a session at the Club the following procedure will be activated:

  • The member of staff in question will inform both the Supervisor and the rest of the staff team that the child is missing and a thorough search of the entire premises will commence. The staff team will be careful not to create an atmosphere of panic and to ensure that the other children remain safe and adequately supervised.
  • The Supervisor will nominate two members of staff initially, to search the area surrounding the premises. Any staff surplus to the insurance ratio of staff to children will also join a coordinated search (the insurance ratio is higher than our preferred operating ratio of 1:8). If it is necessary for staff to search beyond the club’s perimeters a mobile phone or walkie talkie will if available be taken to maintain contact with the Supervisor.
  • All staff will be extra vigilant to any potentially suspicious behaviour or persons in and around the Club.
  • If after 15 minutes of thorough searching the child is still missing, the Manger (or Supervisor in their absence) will contact the child’s parent/carer and inform the police.
  • While waiting for the police and the parent/carer to arrive, searches for the child will continue. During this period, other members of staff will maintain as normal a routine as is possible for the rest of the children at the Club.
  • The Manager (or Supervisor in their absence) will be responsible for meeting the police and the missing child’s parent/carer. The Manager (or Supervisor in their absence) will co-ordinate any actions instructed by the police and do all they can to comfort and reassure the parents/carers.
  • Any incident of a child going missing from the Club will be recorded in the Incident Book. In cases where either the police or social services have been informed. Ofsted will also be informed, as soon as is practicable.
  • Once the incident is resolved, the Management Committee, Club Manager, Supervisors and the staff team will review relevant policies and procedures and implement any necessary changes.