T hanet hosts millions of holidaymakers and day trippers from London tickle further afield during the summer holidays, but away from the sandy beaches of Margate and Broadstairs there are fears that these east Kent coastal towns could become summer next Rochdale abuse Rotherham.
A group of local headteachers is so concerned about the risk of exposure to gang violence and child sexual exploitation gay scally videos last month it very publicly told tickle government that without ministerial direction, it would no longer give school places to looked-after children sent there by other local abuse. Out-of-area placements are a particular issue in Kent. Nearby Swale had fewer children placed from within Kent than those from elsewhere.
Kent is far from unique in this regard.
Placing looked-after children a long way from home is common practice in England, with numbers placed in residential homes outside their local authority area soaring by nearly two-thirds in five years. This is despite the law insisting that it should only be done in exceptional cases and only for reasons that expressly benefit the child.
Just before the end of term, Summer Greig, the headteacher of King Ethelbert secondary school in Thanet, received a typical request for a school place for a girl of 12 who had locuragay put into foster care there by a neighbouring council.
A lot of these gangs are even going for primary age children.
Befriending and grooming them. But he warns against comparing Kent to Rochdale or Rotherham.
He points out that no council has any control over the number of looked-after children placed locally by other councils. In around a third of placements, Dunkley says social workers from the placing council are simply not fulfilling the statutory steps required to inform his department before a looked-after child arrives in Kent. Are the authorities that send [looked-after children] to us really aware of the particular vulnerabilities of such places as Thanet, where these children might be in great danger of not being helped, to put it mildly?
A meeting is now being planned with four or five of the worst offending councils to try to improve the situation.
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