Funding cuts hamper knife crime prevention in England, say schools

Mar 12, 2019 by

Ofsted says schools cannot be blamed for knife crime in absence of properly funded local services

Schools and colleges say that funding cuts are hampering their efforts to prevent knife crime, according to a report commissioned by Ofsted that calls for “local community safety partnerships” to coordinate efforts to tackle the problem.

The Ofsted report, based on a survey of secondary schools, further education and pupil referral units in London, found huge variations in how the schools dealt with the problem of knives carried by pupils, as well as a lack of information-sharing between schools, local authorities and the police.

The report also concluded that schools need to follow more carefully Department for Education guidelines on the use of exclusions, and called for authorities to “challenge schools and multi-academy trusts when exclusions do not appear to be in line with statutory guidance”.

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s chief inspector, cautioned against a “harmful narrative” that exclusions lead to children joining gangs and using knives.

“There is evidence that points to a correlation between the two but of course this does not prove causation. It seems just as likely that exclusions and knife crime are two symptoms of the same underlying problems, exacerbated by cuts to local authority children’s services,” Spielman said in commentary accompanying the report.

Spielman highlighted the spending cuts that have affected education and social services, with spending per head on early help and preventative services falling by more than 60% between 2009-10 and 2016-17.

“Schools simply do not have the ability to counter the deep-seated societal problems behind the rise in knife crime.

Source: Funding cuts hamper knife crime prevention in England, say schools | Education | The Guardian

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.