We have shamefully neglected the needs of children and young teenagers for space, safety, affordable leisure, and creative and challenging activities, for years. We could start by developing after-school programmes in schools which will give every child a chance to shine or develop a new life-skill or leisure interest. Schools in the Education Extra network are offering clubs for everything from creative arts to karaoke, fly- fishing to fencing - with support from their local community. Raising motivation and participation works for parents as well as children.
A national strategy to help schools organise more and better after-school programmes will not compensate for neglectful parents or put a stop to juvenile crime, but it would signal a change in attitude to young people and their parents. It would recognise their needs and potential, and would create the foundations of a more active, responsible society.
Dr Kay Andrews
London E2Reuse content