Drug gangs prey on excluded truants, warns Ofsted Chief
- Vulnerable children expelled from mainstream schools are at risk of being “preyed upon” because of worryingly poor attendance at the specialist institutions tasked with teaching them, the Chief Inspector of Schools in England has warned
- Amanda Spielman, the Head of Ofsted, said that the vast majority of pupil referral units (PRUs) and other providers who accepted excluded children were able to turn around the life chances of their pupils
- She said PRUs should not be viewed as a passport to criminality, as they are sometimes portrayed.
- However, before the publication of Ofsted’s annual report this week, she warned that those educators had to do more to ensure that pupils were actually attending classes
- The rate of truancy at many of the schools is raising concerns about what is happening to the children outside the classrooms about what is happening to the children outside the school gates, with growing evidence that vulnerable children are being targeted by “county lines” drug gangs
- Ofsted’s analysis will show that in some PRUs and other “alternative provision” (AP) settings, pupils are only in class for a fraction of the week, representing an absence rate is almost four times higher than in mainstream schools