State of Children’s Rights in London

Key findings

91

Children are stopped and searched each week in Southwark on average, compared with 19 per week in Hillingdon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton and Sutton.

Poverty

Child poverty rates are high but London is still outperforming national averages in relation to many children’s rights indicators.

4.2%

The attainment gap at GCSE between children eligible for free school meals and others is extraordinarily low (4.2%) in Kensington and Chelsea. In Kingston upon Thames and Sutton it is over 35%.

State of Children’s Rights in London, is a report by the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), funded by Trust for London.

It examines the extent to which children in London enjoy their human rights and reveals staggering differences in outcomes for children according to which borough they live in.

Criminal Justice

  • Freedom of Information requests submitted by CRAE revealed that:
  • On average, 91 children are stopped and searched each week in Southwark, compared with 19 per week in Hillingdon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton and Sutton.
  • The use of tasers on children in London increased nearly six-fold between 2008 and 2012. In total, police in London tasered children 131 times in this period. Police in Croydon, Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham betweenthem tasered children 51 times – 40% of the total.
  • Children in Lambeth are 30 times more likely to find themselves in prison than those in Richmond upon Thames.

Children in Care

  • In Barking and Dagenham 42% of looked after children are not in employment, education or training when they reach 19, whilst in Tower Hamlets and Sutton the equivalent figure is 16%.
  • Looked after children should have the opportunity to influence the way in which children’s services are run via Children in Care Councils. Freedom of Information requests found that in 2012 there were no meetings at all between the Children in Care Council and the Director of Children’s Services in five boroughs (Barnet, Hackney, Havering, Kensington and Chelsea and Wandsworth), compared with 12 such meetings in Harrow and seven in Haringey.

Living Standards

  • Despite this being illegal, 521 homeless children in London were living in B&Bs for longer than six weeks in the third quarter of 2013, accounting for 71% of the total in England. More than half of those were the responsibility of just three local authorities – Ealing, Hounslow and Tower Hamlets.

Education

  • In Kensington and Chelsea, the attainment gap at GCSE between children eligible for free school meals and others is extraordinarily low (4.2%). In Kingston upon Thames and Sutton it is over 35%.
  • In Havering just over 20% of children with special educational needs gain 5+ good GCSEs, while more than 50% of children in Westminster do so.
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State of Children’s Rights in London

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