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Essex children must be protected from gangs

June 22, 2019 1:23 PM

Jude DeakinIt is recognised that primary school aged children are being groomed by gangs and often by the time they reach the age 13 it's too late.

In light of this Cllr Jude Deakin has questioned whether Youth Services can reduce the age of awareness education and commission work for children from aged 10 to 19 rather than the current 13 to 19.

Reply by the Cabinet Member for Education

'Under our statutory duty in regard to the provision of youth services (Section 507B of the Education Act 1996, as amended by section 6 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006) a local authority is required to provide sufficient recreational leisure-time activities for qualifying young persons which are for the improvement of their well-being, and sufficient facilities for such activities,. 'Qualifying young persons' are those aged 13-19, and up to age 24 for young people with a learning difficulty or particular disabilities. (Taken from APPG on Youth Affairs; Youth Work Inquiry, April 2019)

The Essex Young Carers Service does work with young carers aged 0 - 18 yrs, and is already providing workshops around gangs, grooming, and online safety - including a session to be delivered by 'The 2 John's' in Colchester on 31st May, which is open to all young carers with some groups being transported from other quadrants to provide access to the opportunity.'