Excluded schoolchildren are at serious risk of becoming involved in knife crime

According to Barnardo’s, children’s charity, excluded children are also at risk of “being groomed and exploited by criminal gangs”.

The charity said 47 councils, about one in three in England, had no spaces in pupil referral units (PRU), which look after excluded children. The government said a review of school exclusions and their impact on children was ongoing.

The research, which was carried out in collaboration with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Knife Crime, shows a 56% rise in exclusions in England since 2014.

The group’s chairwoman, Sarah Jones, said knife crime was at its highest level on record and “our schools are on the front line”.
She added: “Exclusions are rising and in many cases there is literally nowhere for those children to go. This is heartbreaking.”

She said excluded children were “marked as failures”, and added professionals often talk about the “PRU to prison pipeline”. Read more