‘The government is being urged to identify and support thousands of “hidden” children and young people who drop out of school and disappear off the radar, leaving them at increased risk of abuse and exploitation.
The National Children’s Bureau (NCB), a leading children’s charity, says problems such as bullying, special educational needs, neglect and domestic violence at home, can cause a child to disappear from school for months, even years.
They miss out on their education, which compromises their future prospects, and become more vulnerable as they are beyond the protective reach of school and support services.’ - The Guardian
‘The National Children’s Bureau is demanding resources to help track and support children who drop out of education for months or years at a time. The charity estimates that there could be tens of thousands of such children.
It has called on the government to:
- extend the definition of “children missing education”, so that it includes those who are still on a school roll, but are not accessing education;
- provide resources for schools and local authorities to identify children at risk of dropping out of school, and help them to return;
- collect better data at local and national level to help identify these children;
- share information between agencies, to ensure that children are receiving the support they need.
‘Anna Feuchtwang, NCB Chief Executive said it was “unacceptable” tens of thousands of children were being denied their right to an education.
“These children are often living on the margins, disengaged with school and invisible to other services,” she said. “They are often very vulnerable. Away from the safety and security of school they’re more at risk of abuse and exploitation, taking part in criminal activity, and missing out on support for special educational needs and mental health problems.”
The charity conducted a series of in-depth interviews with children and their families or carers, which revealed how being bullied at school, problems at home and special educational needs can lead to young people dropping out of school.’ - inews