NSN Director: We cannot allow a lack of provision to write off life chances and risk allowing vulnerable children to fall into gang violence. | newschoolsnetwork.org

NSN Director: We cannot allow lack of provision to write off life chances of most vulnerable

Friday, October 25, 2019
NSN Director, Unity Howard, responds to APPG on knife crime report 'Back to School? Breaking the Link Between School Exclusions and Knife Crime' released today.

"The report from the APPG on Knife Crime has shown us the shocking extent of the crisis in alternative provision (AP). It is not acceptable that one third of local authorities have no spaces in their state funded AP. We cannot allow a lack of provision to write off life chances and risk allowing vulnerable children to fall into gang violence.

"We must ensure high-quality AP is there for every child that needs it. Free schools have consistently shown they are part of the solution. AP free schools such as The Fermain Academy and WAC Arts College offer a truly transformative opportunity for children to thrive in a non-mainstream setting, giving them a real second chance.

"Another review will stall momentum on this vital issue. This is crisis that demands immediate action. The whole education sector must work together to ensure that those children who need more support can access it, no matter where they are from. The free school programme is a tried and tested approach to delivering new AP across the country- it is not the only solution to this crisis- but it can quickly deliver new AP places, as long as the Government commits to funding it. 

"The rhetoric and support from the Secretary of State is welcome, but the time for action is now. We urge The Department for Education  to launch a dedicated AP free school wave as a matter of urgency, so outstanding AP can be accessed by all communities across the country."