British kids carry knives to school

September 12th, 2011 - 9:50 am ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 12 (IANS) British children now carry knives in some of the schools across the country because they feel unsafe both in school and on their journey to and from the premises, says a shocking new report prepared by a think tank.

Many students have stopped attending because they feel unsafe, says the report titled “No Excuses: A Review of Educational Exclusion” by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s think tank Centre for Social Justice.

At one primary school, gang culture was so endemic that children aged nine to 11 arrived wearing the colours of their local street gang, the Daily Express reported.

At another school, the head revealed how pupils aged seven to 11 admitted bringing knives after being bullied by older children, or in one case, by someone’s father on their way home from school.

Schools also try to hide their gang problems because of fear of damage to their reputation, the report said.

Many school heads are also breaking the law by continuing to take money from the government for pupils who never actually come to school.

Gavin Poole, executive director of the think tank, said: “It is vital that unscrupulous and sometimes illegal practices indulged in are confronted head on. The money for these ‘ghost pupils’ is retained by the school, but they don’t attend, with some schools failing to provide any suitable education or support.”

The report identified many factors that caused disruptive behaviour.

Family breakdown and domestic abuse are among the causes. A child not growing up in a two-parent family is 75 percent more likely to fail at school, it said.

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