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What caused the riots?

October 25th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

A Ministry of Justice report from the UK government confirms what we all suspected about the riots which took place in the summer in England. Despite the prime ministers rush to blame gangs and gang culture for the riots this was not a major factor.

Instead, according to the Guardian newspaper, the report found “that those arrested during the riots mainly came from deprived areas and had the poorest educational backgrounds. More than two thirds of the young people involved were classed as having special educational needs and one third had been excluded from school in the past year. More than 42% received free school meals.”

Those arrested would appear in general to be young people alienated from the education system and with little prospect of skilled work (or indeed in the present economic climate any work at all). Education policies designed to promote traditional subjects and attempts to strengthen school discipline are not going to help. Neither will the cutbacks in educational expenditure, which are having a disproportionate impact on vocation education and the near closure of many youth services.

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