An executive headteacher for five Kent schools believes a “Rotherham-style” abuse scandal could be in the offing in Thanet.
Paul Luxmoore, executive headteacher of the Coastal Academies Trust, says he will resist taking young people in care from outside Thanet’s home county, because the practice of dumping children and teenagers on what is already a deprived area is exacerbating a growing gang problem and creating the circumstances for youngsters to fall prey to groomers.
“London boroughs don’t have nearly enough foster carers in their area, so children are sent to places like Thanet, which is a poor area with high unemployment and so has far more foster carers,” he told Sky News.
“Thanet now has a large gang problem linked to London and part of that is London children who bring their gang links with them because these are kids who crave a sense of belonging and a sense of family.”
He said children who do not fall in with gangs could find themselves vulnerable to exploitation by groomers — something he has warned against for years.
“It happened in Rochdale, it happened in Rotherham, now it’s happening in Thanet,” he told the broadcaster.
“We should have learned the lessons as a country but we haven’t and it’s still going on all the time.”
Read more on this story on Sky News here.