Doncaster to get £480,000 to help youngsters in serious violence crime hotspots
Vulnerable young people at risk of being drawn into crime or gangs in Doncaster will benefit from a funding boost to help them stay engaged with their education and out of harm.
Following commitments laid out in the Government’s Beating Crime Plan, the Department for Education has today (Friday 03 September) set out its plans for two new projects to support young people most at risk of serious violence or gang exploitation, preventing them from entering a life of crime and helping them move into further education, employment or training.
The Government has announced £481,200 for Doncaster to introduce new Alternative Provision Taskforces, made up of specialists from education, social work, mental health, speech and language therapy, youth justice and other agencies to intervene in the lives of pupils in Alternative Provision.
Doncaster was identified as having high rates of serious youth violent crime – using data such as hospital admissions for knife-related assaults.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
"Getting a good education opens so many doors. For most young people, it’s a chance to learn with others, discovering new interests and getting the skills that will set them up for life.
“For others, it can be all those things and more. For some, those from troubled homes, or who are vulnerable to gangs, being in education can be the safest place for them.
“Serious violence offenders are more likely to have been persistently absent from school and score lower in their GCSES. That’s why keeping them on the right path is so important – because no young person should become a statistic. We cannot, and must not, lower our expectations for these young people
“Great teachers and excellent schools make a huge difference in children’s lives. But clearly schools should not be expected to look after these vulnerable children alone.
“This is a shared responsibility with the brilliant, hard-working professionals working across local health, justice and community services. These new taskforces will be pivotal in joining up all the experts needed to protect our younger generations from danger and level up their outcomes later in life.”
Available in 21 areas across England from November this year, including Doncaster, Alternative Provision Specialist Taskforces will work directly with young people in alternative provision settings and offer intensive support from experts, including mental health professionals, family workers, and speech and language therapists.
Backed by £15 million, awarded from the Treasury’s Shared Outcomes Fund, this two-year programme will aim to keep pupils in Alternative Provision including those who have been excluded from school engaged in education, getting them back on track with their studies and preventing them from being drawn into gang activity or becoming involved with serious crime.
In addition, £30 million will be invested into a programme of SAFE (‘Support, Attend, Fulfil, Exceed’) Taskforces which will be rolled out in 10 of these serious violence hotspots areas from early 2022. This three-year initiative will be led by local schools to protect young people at risk of truant and from being permanently excluded.