Safeguarding expert and former police detective James Simoniti advises how schools can spot the signs of – and respond effectively to – the scourge of child criminal exploitation

Nurturing and supporting children and young people is the focus of our working lives as education professionals and a big part of these efforts is ensuring that our schools are places of safety.

Sadly, for some children in our society that security does not extend beyond the school gate, and they run a very real risk of being lured and exploited by criminal forces that lurk within their communities.

Child criminal exploitation (CCE) is a central worry for safeguarding leads in our secondary schools. Today, as schools continue to deal with the aftermath of pandemic lockdowns that forced many young people out of the safety and security of the physical school environment, it is an even greater concern.

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