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News - 8 December 2012

Nine-year-old gang leaders: "We need more young male teachers" says ex-Minister

Children as young as nine are taking over the leadership of gangs in London because of a lack of positive male role models, according to a former Home Office minister. Meg Hillier blames the low number of male primary school teachers and nursery staff, and the absence of other good male influences.

Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, told Parliament that “youngsters aged nine and ten” had started to act the “big man” after the jailing of older gang members following the London riots. She blamed the problem on a dearth of male teachers and other good male role models.

Her warning came during a parliamentary debate on gangs and youth violence. She said that although crime had fallen “dramatically” in her area of Hackney, London, over recent years, and education standards had risen, the lack of positive male role models was a big concern. “We need to have a serious adult discussion nationally about what is happening, particularly in our primary schools.

Read the rest of this story from The Evening Standard here

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