Knife crime: Excluded pupils ‘sucked into criminality’

Theresa May is being warned that a “broken” system of support for troubled and excluded youngsters lies at the heart of a rise in knife crime. Police commissioners and London’s mayor have written to the PM saying pupils, both formally and informally excluded, are being “sucked into criminality”. The BBC reports.

The letter says cuts to school funds and youth services mean “interventions” for needy youngsters are not happening.

A government spokesperson added that pupil referral units, where children excluded from mainstream school are taught, had a legal duty to safeguard children from dangers such as exploitation, abuse and gang activity.

The letter also called for unofficial exclusions, known as off-rolling, to be outlawed.

“There is growing evidence to show that our vulnerable children are more likely to be excluded or off-rolled from school,” it said.

“And additionally that excluded children are at much greater risk of becoming either perpetrators or victims of serious youth violence.”

It calls for the system of off-rolling, which sees pupils disappear from school registers without having been formally excluded, to be banned.

The letter highlighted that in two of the country’s knife crime hot spots, London and the West Midlands, permanent exclusions rose by 62% and 40% respectively since 2013-14.

“It cannot be right that so many of those who have committed offences have been excluded from school or were outside of mainstream education.”

An Ofsted spokesman said it had seen no convincing evidence that exclusions, in and of themselves, lead to knife crime or gang violence.

Read the full article Knife crime: Excluded pupils ‘sucked into criminality’

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  1. Anonymous

    Re rise in exclusions and criminality – why are the ills of society constantly laid at the door of education?
    It implies that the students – who beat up their pers, who bully consistently and whose parents are not accepting responsibility for them or are abusing them or are involved in criminal activity themselves – should be kept in schools and ‘fixed’ by a broken education system and overworked undertrained teachers – who themselves have to disregard the welfare of children in the immoral quest to reach the governments ridulous one size fits all benchmark of exam results – with everyone knowing that this alone is pressuring children and adults into increased mental health issues, high stress levels and deep seated unhappiness- crime gangs seem to offer an outlet and a solution to lost youngsters who are watching an unfeeling school system sink. Youngsters are crying out for help – whilst health services and education services are being forced into their own criminality by using any method possible to reach impossible targets in a one size fits all stupidity of government demands for better benchmark results.
    Make those in government read Paul Dix – ‘When adults change everything changes’ – and then change their priorities and expectations – and hold to account the MATs that are pouring HUGE amounts of money (that should go towards the welfare of children) into wages of those who do not even get the benchmark results for their schools – despite whipping everyone beneath them.
    What happened to a focus on health and happiness of our youngsters – and a demand for parents to take responsibility not the school the youngster goes to.
    Our children deserve better.


    The focus will be on ‘off-rolling’ (with Ofsted already stating that schools judged to be doing this will automatically receive an inadequate grade) and permanent exclusions. What the government fails to acknowledge is that we are reaping what they have sown with an incessant narrowing of the curriculum, the focus on EBacc-which turns so many students off- the downgrading of vocational alternatives and the lack of funding for schools to provide AP for students who cannot fit into this narrow educational straitjacket. This is turning so many students off education and has directly led to an increase in behaviour problems in schools. That is the root cause of the problem- but as ever, the focus is on the symptoms. Yes, there are a small minority of schools who use permanent exclusions and off-rolling to improve their headline figures but the vast majority do everything in their power to keep kids in schools because they know that the prognosis for permanently excluded students is bleak. However, few schools can afford to offer an Alternative Provision to students who are not suited to the grammar-school curriculum that many schools have been forced to adopt and quickly run out of strategies to prevent a troubled youngster becoming another student for whom there is no alternative other than a permanent exclusion.

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