Burgers and coats: cost of living crisis exploited by county lines gangs
The Sutton Trust has published a report on the impact of the current cost of living crisis on education. Findings from a poll of teachers include: In state schools, 74% of teachers have seen an increase in pupils unable to concentrate or tired in class; 54% have seen an increase in those coming into school without adequate winter clothing like a coat; and 38% of teachers reported an increase in children coming into school hungry.
Worryingly, this links closely with an article published by The Observer on reports from headteachers about the potential link between the cost of living crisis and increasing numbers of children and young people being recruited into county lines gangs. Potential contributing factors identified include: schools reducing the number of staff on playground and lunchtime duty, making them less able to stop gang members approaching children; gangs targeting economically deprived areas; and young people becoming increasingly vulnerable to exploitation due to many of the issues outlined by the Sutton Trust survey.
Safeguarding Network collaborated with NWG Network to explore strategies to help intervene and prevent exploitation. You can download the presentation slides here and the insight here.