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Keep them in school

19th September 2023 | County Lines

The Clewer Initiative

BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 programme recently explored the trend towards county lines gangs targeting extremely vulnerable children who have been permanently excluded from school.

It also discovered that children with special education needs are five times more likely to be excluded and that they too can be especially at risk of exploitation.

The report shared the story of Will, a 13-year-old boy with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, who once outside the education system, was targeted by a gang.

The former children’s commissioner Anne Longfield said the figures were deeply alarming. “These are the children who’ve already been identified and assessed as being very, very vulnerable,” she said. “We absolutely should use the knowledge that those children are vulnerable to make sure they get that ring of protection they need and that means they need to stay in school.”

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