CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Excluded pupils are far more likely to become victims of violent crime

05 September, 2019

• IN response to “In praise of Acland Burghley”, (Letters, August 29) indeed, it is back-to-school time for the vast majority of children in our Borough.

However a significant amount won’t be going back due to being excluded, or because across the UK the summer holidays, children are at higher risk of becoming a victim of violence.

The links between school exclusions and serious violence should not be dismissed.

The Black Child Agenda campaign found: “Some black boys are 168-times more likely to be permanently excluded from school than a white British girl” and “Mass exclusions perpetuate the schools to prison pipeline. Excluded children are vulnerable, at risk of being groomed into gangs, forced into county lines and child sexual exploitation”.

Hence there is an acute need for scrutiny, which is currently being undertaken in Camden with the findings due soon.

The recently published landmark Review of School Exclusions by Edward Timpson demonstrates the evidence base further: “Vulnerable groups of children are more likely to be excluded, with 78 per cent of permanent exclusions issued to children who had special educational needs (SEN)”.

The review concluded with 30 recommendations, and key measures such as: “Making early intervention the norm, bringing together education providers and councils so that schools are better equipped to take action early and provide the right support for children at risk of exclusion”.

Additional to scrutiny, schools will need adequate central government funding to make a substantial impact in reducing exclusions and therefore serious violence.

Sincere condolences to the family and friends of Alex Smith.

ELAINE DONNELLON
Operation Shutdown, NW1

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