Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the Daily Mail’s campaign on ‘county lines’ and the Secretary of States visit to the Netherlands
Today, Thursday 20 September, the Daily Mail continued its campaign to protect children from so-called ‘county lines’ drugs running.
The Education Secretary has been clear that this activity is unacceptable and has outlined what the government is doing to protect vulnerable children and ‘stamp out this behaviour’.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:
“No child should grow up fearing being exploited, and no parent should have to worry that their child, or any child, will be targeted by these criminal gangs. Nothing is more important than ensuring each and every child can experience a childhood free from fear and exploitation which is why their safety and wellbeing is our top priority. You don’t have to be a parent to find reports of children being used to traffic drugs, absolutely vile and abhorrent.
“When it comes to the most vulnerable children, for whom we are we corporate parents, we have a zero tolerance approach – we must expect the same as we would want for our own children. Not just that they are safe, but that they are able to thrive.
“In terms of what we’re doing to stamp out this behaviour, we have launched a new Serious Violence Strategy. This will make sure that the police, community groups, education, health and local authorities have to work together to safeguard children from being preyed on and sucked into criminal activity in the first place, as well as confronting county lines gangs. To better understand the criminals behind this activity we are establishing a new £3.6million National County Line Co-ordination Centre, bringing police forces together across the country.
“We’re also setting up a new national response unit, backed by £2million, that will work with councils where there is a particular issue. The team will provide expert advice and practical support to those councils to help them protect vulnerable children being taken advantage of.
“Providing direct support to children who are targets for these kinds of despicable criminals is integral to getting rid of it for good, so we’re providing 11 councils with £13million to pilot a new approach where young people at risk of exploitation can be linked up with a dependable adult that they can contact if they need support.”
Today, Thursday 20 September, the i reported on the Secretary of State’s visit to the Netherlands, where he is on a fact-finding mission to see how the technical education system works in the Netherlands. His visit included a stop at the Hague where he met with Michele Hutchison, co-authored the book ‘The Happiest Kids in the World’, to discuss children’s happiness and well-being.