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Just for Kids Law partners with law firms to offer free legal advice and representation over exclusions, opens London unit

Children’s legal charity Just for Kids Law has partnered with City law firm Allen & Overy to launch the London School Exclusion Unit today (9 May).

The charity added that “to challenge unfairness in the school exclusions process”, it would be partnering with law firms across the country to offer free legal advice and representation for children and young people who are faced with fixed term and permanent exclusions.

Just for Kids Law suggested that school exclusions are a growing problem for children and young people across the country, pointing how in the last full year prior to the pandemic (2018/19), there were almost 7,900 permanent exclusions and almost 440,000 fixed period exclusions.

The charity said: “Unfortunately, we know from our work at Just for Kids Law that certain groups of children and young people are disproportionately excluded from school, including Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children; children of black ethnicity; children with special educational needs or disabilities; children eligible for Free School Meals; and looked after children.

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“Children excluded are also more vulnerable to child criminal exploitation and statistics show a clear connection between exclusion from school and entry into the youth justice system – more than 8 out of 10 children in custody have been excluded.”

Just for Kids Law said some of its school exclusion campaigners were involved in training Allen & Overy volunteers – “they shared their incredible journeys of overcoming a school exclusion and the difference support can make”.

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