A new register for children who are not in school is to be launched at “the earliest available legislative opportunity”, the Department for Education has said. 

The new list is in an attempt to stop pupils "falling through the cracks", the Government has said. 

The DfE has said that local authorities will be responsible for logging where each child is being educated and that any home-schooled children have enough support. 

It comes after the pandemic saw a rise in children not being educated at school and is part of the Government's "levelling up" education plans. 

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “Education is at the heart of this Government’s plans to level up, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to succeed no matter where they grow up or what their background."

News Shopper: Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi (PA)Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi (PA)

“While the majority of children already learn in a calm and well-maintained classroom, and some learn at home with dedicated parents, there are areas across the country where high standards are not being met.

“As Education Secretary, it is my priority to make sure every child gets the start in life they deserve, which is why I’m announcing clearer guidance to help every school boost behaviour and new legislation to create the first local authority register for children not in school.

“Not only this, but our school rebuilding programme will ensure pupils can learn in state-of-the-art facilities, giving them the best opportunity to thrive.”

The department has pledged to re-build hundreds of schools across the country and give updated guidance to headteachers on managing behaviour and using exclusions. 

The School Rebuilding Programme announced in 2020, which aims to improve education facilities over the next 10 years, has also opened applications for the selection of up to 300 more programmes.

News Shopper: Picture: PAPicture: PA

So far, £2 billion has been invested in 100 rebuilds, according to the DfE.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), welcomed the introduction of a register for children not in schools, but criticised the new guidance on behaviour as “unhelpful”.

He said: “We need to remember that in the vast majority of schools there are no major issues when it comes to behaviour, and that schools already have strong systems in place for supporting good behaviour.

“The Government’s current obsession with being seen to ‘talk tough’ on behaviour is frankly unhelpful.

“Instead, what the Government should be focusing on is making sure that vital support services are available to support schools and pupils when they need it.

“It is important to find out if there is an underlying cause for an individual child’s behaviour, whether it be mental wellbeing, undiagnosed SEND, or problems at home.”