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Church called to step up to support 'stuck' kids in education

by Heather Preston

A Christian charity has called on the Church to "step up" and support children struggling in education.

It comes after a report found hundreds of thousands of children in poorer areas are at risk of being "stuck" in underperforming schools.

Ofsted revealed 415 institutions haven't achieved a "good" or "outstanding" rating since 2006.

Derby, Southend in Essex and Darlington have been named as the worst affected areas.

Transforming Lives for Good is a Christian charity which helps churches to support struggling and vulnerable children.

TLG's schools development manager Debra Barnett told Premier there's a correlation between low income areas and poor schooling.

"There's the socio economic issues and all the other social issues that you find in these areas: drugs, low income families, troubled families, and as a result because of the lack of funding feeding into some of these issues as well, It's almost a cycle of hopelessness that affects not only the young people, but also the schools as well."

The report found many stuck schools reported low levels of literacy and employment among parents.

Teachers and year group leaders at the worst schools cited geographic isolation proving unattractive to potential teachers, poor parental motivation and unstable pupil populations among their greatest challenges.

Barnett says a lack of education and support for these young people can often lead to "a life of crime" and result in "very negative outcomes" for families and individuals.

There are an estimated 210,000 pupils being educated in stuck schools, despite the system of support, intervention and inspection designed to improve schools, Ofsted said.

TLG is calling on the Church to join with them in bringing transformation to the lives of young people.

"The Church is pivotal. 

"It's really important that the Church steps up and makes it their mission to support those that are really struggling in education."

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