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Headteacher: Mr M Barrow

Headteacher's Message

Parents and carers may have seen in the local press this week the event that was run by ten Bury St Edmunds high schools on County Lines. County Lines exploitation is when gangs and organised crime networks use vulnerable children, usually from urban areas, to courier drugs and money to suburban and rural locations. Vulnerable children are targeted by gangs and groomed, threatened or tricked into trafficking drugs for them. The gangs use mobile phone lines to facilitate their activity and use a local property as a base; these often belong to a vulnerable adult and are obtained through force or coercion (known as cuckooing). The County Lines process is now understood as a driving causal factor in youth violence and, in some cases, includes elements of child trafficking. An updated report by the National Crime Agency (NCA) has found that the use of County Lines by gangs is a growing issue and is exploiting ever-younger victims.

Whilst there is no evidence that County Lines exploitation is occurring in Ixworth, we continue to take our safeguarding responsibility exceptionally seriously and want to keep our students safe, particularly as we know that many of students will visit Bury outside of school time. As such, Mrs Parker has adapted our PSHE programme in order that the module on drugs and positive relationships is delivered and followed up on before Christmas. We will also be addressing the matter of County Lines – in an age appropriate way – during these sessions. In addition, on our website, we have published further information for parents and carers and will be adding further ‘help line’ telephone numbers over the next few days. This can be found here: https://www.ixworthschool.org.uk/county-lines/


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