Education, Children, and Violence: Insights from the Youth Endowment Fund Report

Sara Spinks 10 June 2024 2 min read
Education, Children, and Violence: Insights from the Youth Endowment Fund Report  feature image

The Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) released a comprehensive report in May 2024 titled Education, Children, and Violence. This report provides crucial insights and recommendations for preventing violence among young people through work in educational settings. It is based on extensive research, including surveys with teenagers and consultations with educational leaders, academics, and policy experts.

Key Findings:

Impact of Violence on Children

  • Prevalence of Violence: The report reveals that 47% of teenagers had been a victim or witness of violence in the past year. Moreover, 55% of children reported seeing real-life violence on social media.
  • Behavioural Changes: Approximately 65% of children altered their behaviour to stay safe, with 14% missing school due to fear of violence. The fear of violence significantly impacts their day-to-day lives, leading to absenteeism and reduced participation in activities.

Vulnerable Groups

  • Children from minority backgrounds, those receiving free school meals, and those supported by social workers are disproportionately affected by violence.
  • The survey highlighted that children exposed to violence are more likely to experience physical injuries and psychological trauma.

Role of Education Providers

  • Schools, colleges, and alternative provisions play a critical role in preventing violence. However, they often lack the resources and training to effectively identify and support at-risk children.
  • The report emphasises the importance of providing meaningful relationships with trusted adults and developing children's social and emotional skills.


Keep Children in Education

  • Implement evidence-based attendance improvement strategies, such as meetings with parents/carers and breakfast clubs.
  • Reduce the need for exclusions through whole-school and targeted behaviour support.
  • Provide appropriate support for temporarily suspended and permanently excluded children.

Provide Trusted Adults

  • Offer one-to-one mentoring by trained adults to support vulnerable children.
  • Engage children in sports with coaches who can act as mentors and provide additional support.

Develop Social and Emotional Skills

  • Introduce a universal curriculum and targeted support for developing social and emotional skills.
  • Conduct relationship violence reduction sessions and implement anti-bullying strategies.
  • Ensure access to therapy for children requiring additional support.

Target Efforts at High-Risk Times and Places

  • Identify high-risk areas and times through surveys and consultations with staff.
  • Coordinate with local partners to understand the context and enhance the safeguarding response.

Focus on Evidence-Based Strategies

  • Prioritise proven strategies while cautiously considering unproven methods.
  • Avoid harmful approaches like prison awareness programs.


The YEF report highlights the significant impact of violence on children's lives and the urgent need for evidence-based interventions. By implementing the recommended strategies, educational institutions can play a pivotal role in preventing violence and creating a safer environment for young people. The insights and recommendations from the YEF report serve as a crucial guide for policymakers, educators, and community leaders in their efforts to protect children and reduce youth violence.

Sara Spinks

SSS Author & Former Headteacher