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“Do young people really have problems, or just bad press?”

Back in 2012, visitors and Club Members alike were hugely impressed by the presentation by Adele Eastman – Senior Policy Specialist at the Centre for Social Justice.  She led the organisation’s Educational Exclusion work.

Adele’s research into why students are excluded from our schools and her ensuing report – excerpts of which she shared with, triggered an animated and focused debate.  What could we do about the problem?  It was impossible to reach a conclusion.  But one thing stood out – children and young people with behavioural and educational problems are not necessarily from homes that are short of money, but a huge number are living with parents who have little time to give to their children.

With the stresses that modern day parents face, especially long working hours, adults are too tired to monitor their children’s behaviour and give effective and appropriate discipline.  The meeting discussed the lack of communication between adults and their offspring – evening meals in front of the television, where watching a screen has taken over from the interaction that takes place when a family eats together aroung the meal table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Joyce Quinnell, CEO Surrey Clubs for Young People pointed out that young people can and do communicate.  But the question has to be asked, ‘is that with their peer group friends?’.  The meeting asked why so many young people lacked the skills to enable them to impress in job interviews.  Do young people mix with adults across the age ranges?  The answer being that probably this happens far less now that families are less likely to live near one another.

So what were the outcomes?  The audience went away better informed as to what is happening in our schools and the problems of exclusion in general.  Can we do anything to help? A youth worker suggested that we organise a family picnic and encourage families to eat together.  Watch this space!



Visitors from the charity ‘Straight Talking’