Saturday 18 January 2020

Future criminals 'can be spotted at age of two’

Thinkstock
Thinkstock

Graeme Paton

CHILDREN at risk of "going off the rails" and descending into a life of crime can be spotted at the age of two, it was claimed today.

Nurseries should identify toddlers showing early signs of aggression and crack down on bad behaviour by marking them out for specialist tuition, said Charlie Taylor, the British government’s advisor on discipline.



He said showing the worst-behaved children how to socialise and giving them proper boundaries could prevent problems escalating.



It was also appropriate for some five and six year-olds with the most serious difficulties to spend some time at institutes for the most unruly pupils, he suggested. Mr Taylor said: “Any child can go off the rails for a bit and what we need is a system that is responsive to them and helps them to get back on the straight and narrow.”



The comments were made as he published a review of education for the worst-behaved children in England.



The report – commissioned in light of last summer’s riots – found widespread failings in the way these children were handled, with many being “dumped” in poor-quality referral units for excluded pupils. In some cases, they received little formal teaching and treated the experience like a “holiday camp”.



Mr Taylor’s report, published today, is expected to be accepted in full by the Government. It calls for:



• A new generation of specialist teachers to manage bad behaviour.



• Shoddy pupil referral units to be run by private organisations.



• The trial of a “payment by results” scheme in which private providers get bonuses to increase the number of pupils leaving alternative schools with good qualifications.

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