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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