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Comment on funding for schools through government Beating Crime...

Sara Tough, Chair of the ADCS Families, Communities & Young People Policy Committee said:

“The announcement of additional funding to support children and young people at risk of involvement with violent crime or being criminally exploited is to be welcomed and we await further detail on this. The role of schools is key as they are the eyes and ears of the safeguarding system. Keeping vulnerable young people in our education system must be our priority. However, there are various risk factors that can increase the likelihood of them being drawn into criminality or exploited including being out of school, poor employment opportunities, a lack of positive activities in the local area as well as inequality, deprivation, trauma and poor mental health. Indeed, multiple studies demonstrate a clear link between inequality and higher levels of violence.

“The focus on early intervention is key and schools are well placed to support this approach. Despite this, school exclusions have been on the rise and we have an accountability system that prioritises academic attainment over inclusion. We know the longer term social and financial costs of allowing children to get to the point of exclusion are huge; for many this is the first step on a journey that ultimately ends with social exclusion in adulthood too. A move towards a more inclusive education system that prioritises the mental health and wellbeing of children alongside their attainment would benefit children and young people.

“It is important that we learn from the range of evidence-based community projects that already exist such as the public health approach to reducing violence in Glasgow. Prevention and early action is key, this must involve co-ordination of a wide range of services, including those to support families and young people, but also stimulating housing, employment opportunities and community facilities.”

ENDS


Tags assigned to this article:
YOUTH JUSTICE 32

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