Thursday 14 December 2017

Third of riot youths barred from school

Wesley Johnson in London

More than a third of youngsters involved in this summer's riots had been excluded from school at some point in the last year, figures showed yesterday.

Those involved in the looting and violence in English cities in August were younger, poorer, involved in more trouble and achieved lower grades than average, detailed analysis of the histories of those charged over the disturbances showed.

The report also showed that 50pc of those involved were also in receipt of school meals.

However, gangs "generally did not play a pivotal role", officials said, and most police forces found that less than one in 10 of those arrested were gang members.

The figures, which were based on matching ministry of justice records with those from the national pupil database held by the department for education, showed 36pc of young people -- some 139 10- to 17-year-olds -- who appeared before the courts over the riots had received one or more fixed-term exclusions in 2009/10, compared with just 5.6pc of all pupils aged 15.

A total of 11, 3pc of young people appearing before courts over the riots, had been permanently excluded, compared with 0.1pc of all those children aged 15 at the start of the 2009/10 academic year.

Three in 10 (30pc) were persistent absentees from school, compared with less than one in 20 (4pc) of all pupils in secondary schools run by local authorities, the figures showed.

Overall absence rates were also higher for those young people involved in the riots, up to 18.6pc compared with 8.4pc for all pupils in fifth year.

And their educational achievement was down, with just one in 10 of the youngsters involved achieving five or more A to C grades at GCSE, including English and maths, compared with more than half (53pc) of all pupils in 2009/10.

Irish Independent

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