Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Together, we have done a brilliant job in tackling the huge number of young people who were being permanently excluded from school. We have moved over five years from around 250 PXs a year to hopefully this year less than 50PXs... which is of course still 50 too many!

We now need to take that energy, passion, commitment and leadership and in the same way address the huge number of young people leaving school without qualifications and drifting into worklessness, poverty, anti-social behaviour, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and crime. We currently have around 10% of our 16 to 18 year olds 'Not in Education, Employment or Training' (NEET). We need to understand the nature of the challenge we face but we also need to set visionary and aspirational goals so that every school, working with every agency and voluntary sector and community group, works to reduce this and as soon as possible eliminate it.

Together, as we have done with PXs, we must:
Set the goal and make it a priority.
Set the goal and invent the way.
Set the goal and make it happen.

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