Football Beyond Borders (FBB) has launched a major new national campaign spotlighting the impact of children missing school as an issue of national interest.
Founded in 2013, FBB was set up to support and change the lives of disadvantaged, young people who are passionate about football but not fulfilling their potential at school.
The award-winning charity found that in 2019, 830,000 days of school were missed due to children being excluded, with the number of pupils excluded from England’s schools increasing by 60 per cent. The Beyond Lockdown campaign also reports that every cohort of permanently excluded students will go on to cost the state an extra £2.1 billion in education, health and criminal justice costs.
FBB’s campaign also proclaims that 1 per cent of excluded pupils get five good GCSEs needed to access the workforce.
“In many parts of the country, the system that should be supporting our school children is letting them down,” said Jack Reynolds, Co-Director, Football Beyond Borders.
“This year, for the first time, every family experienced the challenge of children not being in school. Now we all know what it means when our children lose their education. We must use this awareness as an opportunity to ensure we do everything we can to ensure that young people remain in school and do not become socially isolated at this critical stage in their lives.”
The campaign’s first phase sees the launch of a book, also entitled ‘Beyond Lockdown,’ providing a photographic record of the impact the lack of school was having. The work emphasises how school goes beyond education, creating social connections as well.
Throughout the coming weeks, the second phase of the ‘Beyond Lockdown’ campaign will feature personal testimonies from pupils, families and teachers along with ‘powerful visual demonstrations of why it is so important that we use the experience of lockdown to do everything we can to minimise exclusions.’
Author: Charlie Farmer