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




Stop youth migrating by invest in farming

According to a new UN report, strengthening rural economy in developing nations should be priority for those concerned with international migration.

Agriculture, the main focus of rural development, receives inadequate resources and attention, the report says.
Modernising agriculture in poor areas could yield substantial benefits, it says, raising productivity and providing the pull needed to keep young people on the land instead of migrating to large cities.

The report says jobs in what it calls “agricultural value chains” can provide opportunities for rural people close to where they already live, which is attractive to many who do not want to have to move.

“Rural migration is closely linked not only with agriculture and rural development, but also with the overall development of societies,” said José Graziano da Silva, director general of the FAO, in a foreword to the report.

People who have already moved within their own country are much more likely to become international migrants, according to the report’s data. Read full story




Young people cannot afford to buy homes

About 40% of young adults cannot afford to buy one of the cheapest homes in their area even with a 10% deposit, according to a new research. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said house prices in England have risen by 173% over two decades.

But average pay for 25-34 year-olds has grown by just 19% over the same period.
In 1996, 93% of those with a deposit who borrowed four and a half times their salary could purchase a home but that fell to 61% in 2016.

The IFS also said that higher rental costs – up from an average £140 a week to £200 a week in England – have “reduced the purchasing power of young adults’ incomes” and made it harder to save for a deposit.

Bradley Tucker, a 27-year-old recruitment worker from King’s Langley in Hertfordshire, is struggling to save for a deposit.

He and his partner have moved from a rented flat to a shared house, so they can start to save something.

But while his dad – a bricklayer – managed to buy a house after just one year, Bradley estimates it will take them at least a decade.

“On a current trajectory, the cheapest deposit is £15,000 to £20,000, so you’re looking at 10 years plus,” he told the BBC.

“For young people, it seems an almost impossible challenge. It’s a depressing outlook.”

The IFS said that it is key for the government to increase the supply of homes.

It said that planning restrictions, such as within the Green Belt, prevents the construction of new homes in response to demand.

“Without increasing supply, policies to help young adults get onto the housing ladder will continue to push up house prices – and potentially rents too, which would hurt those young adults who will never be able to buy their own home,” it said. Read more




Social media and young people

Medical experts have been told to draw up advice on the maximum amount of time young people should spend on social media, the health secretary has said.

In an interview with the Observer, father-of-three Matt Hancock said he was “very worried” about the impact on children’s mental health.

He said he hoped the guidelines would become the “norm”, like the recommended maximum alcohol consumption for adults.

England’s chief medical officer has been asked to put together the advice.

Mr Hancock told the newspaper: “I am, as a father, very worried about the growing evidence of the impact of social media on children’s mental health.

“Unrestricted use (of social media) by younger children risks being very damaging to their mental health.

“So I have asked the chief medical officer to bring forward formal guidance on its use by children.” Read more