It’s nearly the end of the school term, when children and teachers can take stock of a busy year and look forward to the summer holidays.
I was delighted to be invited back to Stockport Academy in Cheadle Heath to hear about the students’ achievements over the year, which are truly impressive. They put in so much hard work and are a real credit to the excellent teaching and learning at the Academy.
Children and young people from middle class families are in danger of being groomed by urban criminal gangs to sell drugs in county towns, according to a new report.
Today’s report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Runaway and Missing Children and Adults follows the revelation from the National Crime Agency last year that 80 per cent of police areas are now reporting exploitation of children by criminal gangs.
The NCA said that using children in ‘county lines’ operations – the supply of class A drugs from Urban areas to county towns – has spread out from London gangs to the rest of the country, including Greater Manchester and Liverpool.
Today’s APPG report warns that children and young people from ‘stable and economically better off backgrounds’ are being drawn in, coerced and exploited by criminal gangs.
Parking around schools is a big issue for parents, headteachers and indeed neighbours. I receive complaints about drivers causing obstruction and parking inconsiderately at school drop-off and pick-up times. Occasionally this can lead to angry words being exchanged between neighbours and drivers or parents. More importantly, there is a huge worry that a child could be injured outside their school while trying to cross the road.
Enquiring with the council recently, I have heard how difficult it can be to recruit school crossing patrol officers – or lollipop ladies/men as we used to call them. It can be a very satisfying job, just a couple of hours a day paid above the national minimum wage. But it seems that there are several local primary schools with vacancies – despite poster adverts in schools and on the council website.