In March 2022, myself and other young campaigners got an opportunity to share our lived experiences of school exclusion with the Department of Education. In particular, we discussed the Statutory Guidance on School Exclusions and Behaviour - a document that was never shared with me whilst I was at school.
It is well-known that care leavers are more likely to experience homelessness but significant gaps in policy and practice to support these young people remain. As we eagerly await the final recommendations of the Independent Care Review to Government, our new joint briefing based on practice from ourselves, New Horizon and Youth Legal contains cases studies of care leavers who have become homeless as well as some solutions we hope will be included and change the lives of young people in similar situations.
In March 2022, the Department for Education (DfE) published its long-awaited revised statutory guidance on school exclusions and guidance on behaviour in schools for consultation to address many changes recommended by the Timpson review in 2018. At Just for Kids Law, we find that the children we work with are often unfairly treated and disproportionately affected by school exclusions and behaviour policies. These policies often focus on managing behaviour rather than supporting children that display behaviours that challenge.
This story about ‘Aaron’ and his right to education is based on real people and true events. The names of the individuals involved have been changed in order to protect them.
Exclusions have been rising in schools across England over the past decade. Official Government statistics show that from 2019 to 2020 more than 5,000 children were permanently excluded from school. That includes more than 700 children under the age of ten.
One of our young care-experienced campaigners, Rose, shares some of her thoughts on what could change in the care system in this powerful speech you can read or listen to here.
This is a question we should be asking ourselves when thinking about the problematic housing process for young people leaving care.
On 10 October 2021, some of our brilliant staff members will be running in the Royal Parks Half Marathon to raise money for our work. Race tickets can be really hard to come by and we haven’t competed as a team in a half marathon in over 10 years so this is definitely something to be proud of! The JfKL team have been training for months now, enduring the summer heat (and plenty of rain), injuries, blisters, and sore knees to prepare for the race. This will be a huge challenge but we’re confident that we can go the distance. Read on to find out why Augusta Itua, one of our amazing Youth Justice Lawyers, is taking part this year.
Just for Kids Law and Homeless Link have launched a useful new resource for front-line professionals in the voluntary sector who support 16- and 17-year-olds faced with homelessness. It’s been created so professionals can identify what support a child is entitled to at any point in their journey and assist them to access their rights. The guidance provides practical advice rooted in our experience of how professionals can advocate for 16- and 17-year-olds, as well as information on communicating effectively with children about their choices, and respecting their agency.
The need for this resource illustrates the flaws in the current legal framework surrounding homeless 16- and 17-year-olds and the consequences for this vulnerable group of children.
Despite the Covid-19 situation we would like to reassure all those who need our help that we are still available to provide support and advice.
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To make an online referral click here.