In response to the recent government announcement that new schools are to be opened across the country to cater for pupils facing challenges in mainstream education:
“We welcome government plans for more new schools to support troubled young people that are not progressing in mainstream education – this is a vital step to preventing offending including knife crime. We already know that 85% of young people within youth custodial settings in England have been excluded from school. Young people in custody often have a complex set of social, emotional, psychological and educational back-stories that require tackling head-on to prevent a downward spiral.
“At Nacro, we have seen first-hand that with the right educational interventions, this cycle can be broken, and young people can follow a path of positive behaviours for learning, leading them to achieve educational success. Many of the young people who attend one of our Education and Skills Centres across the country experience multiple barriers, have had breaks in their schooling or have not been able to complete their school career. We urge government to ensure that plans ensure will include not just schools but also those aged 16 and 17/18, as well as young people facing difficulties at primary and secondary school. At this age, young people are at a key transition point and can respond well to positive intervention. High quality teaching and support that can help to resolve the issues that led young people to struggle at school in the first place such as poor mental health, family breakdown, and poverty is essential. Without this, the risk that some of our most vulnerable young people will become increasingly marginalised and isolated remains, making the likelihood of offending behaviour even greater. At Nacro , we have a track record in this kind of work to give young people a chance to succeed. We are here to help.” Lisa Capper, Nacro Director of Education and Skills