Today (Thursday 7 March) police commissioners and London's mayor have written to the Prime Minister warning that cuts to school funds and youth services are putting young people at risk.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of NAHT, the union which represents leaders in the majority of schools, said: “We agree with much of this letter. School budgets are at breaking point and many interventions for our most vulnerable young people are being cut. As the letter says, this cannot be right, and schools must have the necessary resources to support young people at risk of exclusion.
“The letter goes on to say that the apparent rise in violent crime amongst young people is the result of deep-seated problems of poverty, inequality, social alienation, cuts to police, local authority and school funding, and a lack of opportunities for young people. We agree with this too, as it is obvious that young people cannot be entirely safe and successful without every area of society playing its part.
“For this reason, it would be wrong to conflate off-rolling, exclusions and knife-crime. A school’s first duty is the safety of its students, and so school leaders need to retain the autonomy to exclude a violent pupil in order to keep everyone else safe.
“We have again seen this week that the government is in denial about the cuts to school budgets. We would be happy to meet the Mayor of London and the other signatories to this letter to add our voice to theirs in order change the government’s attitude to the funding of essential public services.”
Press and Media contacts:
NAHT Head of Press and Media
Rose Tremlett Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Press Officer