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Did you know.....on average, two children in every school class will run away from home before the age of 16?*

(60 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-Oct-13 10:45:02

Please download the free runaway prevention lesson plans from Railway Children and ask your child's teacher to deliver them to their class to educate them on safer choices.

Railway Children say "This statistic brings home the need to introduce runaway prevention education to every child's class in the UK not to scare children, but to get them to think about the safe people in their lives, and the ways they can get help to sort out problems. If the subject of running away from home is not a topic on your child's school's PSHE curriculum, then you should download Railway Childrens free lesson plans for KS1, 2 and 3, available here and take it into your school or encourage your child's teacher to download it for themselves.

Please do this and then return to this thread and let us know:

~ What you or the school thought of the resource
~ Would you want your child's teacher to teach this lesson in class?
~ Do you think it's up to the school or the parent to raise awareness of the issues around children running away from home?

Leave a 'proper' comment below and for every response (ideally to the questions above) (up to a maximum of 3 per user), Aviva will donate £2 to Railway Children to support the work they do.

* Based on a life time running away rate of 8.9% - Still Running 3, The Childrens Society

herladyship Fri 01-Nov-13 20:26:55


how does going to a 'superselective' mean running away is less likely?

DS (now 18) was a '1 night runnaway' age 15, due to a combination of exam stress & an argument over an enormous phone bill!

DD is 13 & some of her friends really worry me, pressured at home/pressured at school & terrified of 'not being good enough'

I work in a very deprived area, there is much less (of that type of) pressure on kids, and (generalisation) they mostly have huge extended family/friends to runaway 'safely' to if space or support is needed...

I'll pass the resources onto school and see what they think. I have no idea whether its covered.

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CeliaLytton Fri 01-Nov-13 21:09:07

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fizzly Fri 01-Nov-13 22:12:50

Just to say that I went to a super selective and there were two people in my year (120 girls) who ran away, one of whom was found in really bad shape in central Manchester after having been away from home for about 2 weeks. My dad has barely every said anything emotional in his life, but I remember him being devastated about not spotting that I had a friend with such personal issues at home and said that I should always offer a place to a friend in need - has really stuck with me.

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Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Sat 02-Nov-13 08:15:07

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Meringue33 Sat 02-Nov-13 20:30:58

My sister and I both ran away, and we came from a loving middle class home.

Karenblixen how are you? I remember your previous thread.

LadyStark Sat 02-Nov-13 20:46:35

I was at super selective Home Counties grammar school as middle class as you like and I ran away from home on a number of occasions. This really isn't a class issue IMO.

Inthechelseahotel Sun 03-Nov-13 11:21:20

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taffleee Sun 03-Nov-13 16:50:38

I totally agree with your comment, and coming from someone who works a so called 'deprived' area, thanks -

I do think more kids from 'upper, middle class' homes runaway, its to do with being able to relate to your parents -

I could never relate to mine, I came from a upper, middle class home, and rebelled when my mum moved away when i was 11, my dad started dating a younger woman - his excuse was id always go back to my mum, but she never wanted us kids as she found other boyfriends and a life, and my dads new younger woman didn't want us kids either, she wanted expensive holidays, so i was thrown into a children's home, and from there various foster homes who were just after the money -

I went from living in an expensive area, horse riding with my friends, to living in a room next to a 12 year old girl who killed her abusive step by setting him on fire, she robbed of the foster parents we lived with and they had me arrested for it, handcuffed, strip searched (at 14). black bagged all my belongings to another foster home at midnight after i was questioned and told I was going to end up in prison, then the next day the girl who actually robbed the monies teacher phoned and said she wasnt in school that day, and the mother of the girl she 'skivved' with was concerned because she came home with new clothes and 50 quid cash, given by her -

I'm ranting........

BlueSkySunnyDay Sun 03-Nov-13 16:59:15

I'm pretty sure its not just children from deprived troubled families who run away and even children from superselective schools may feel like it (in my experience they have supercompetitive parents, sometimes pushing square pegs into round holes)

I came from a stable family and certainly threatened leaving, my pre-teen son has disappeared in a temper tonight saying he will be "back when I feel like it" I am pretty sure that will be when his friends have tea

All we can do is make them aware of the dangers and hope that in the depths of the "attitude" is also a grain of common sense.

taffleee Sun 03-Nov-13 17:00:35

By the way, not a social worker in site for me - they just threw my in home after home - one foster mum even stopped me from trying to phone my parents after she kicked me in the face for not taking my make up off before I slept on a 'make shift bed' because she had fostered another to sleep in the 'single room' also, to pay for her conservatory -

I slept on the street that night, before I went to live with my friend -

I have a beautiful family now, but I worry for runaways, especially kids that end up in so called 'care'.

When my children are a little older, and if i have the room, I will try to foster, older kids who need some understanding, that i never had

BlueSkySunnyDay Sun 03-Nov-13 17:01:43

taffleee - your parents should be ashamed of themselves, I cant imagine letting any child of mine go through that.

taffleee Sun 03-Nov-13 17:19:45

Bluesky I've no idea I'm writing this on here, I've never spoken about it, but I know there are children and teenagers going through this now - and from my experience of the 'care' system, there needs to be a massive overhaul, I don't know what that would mean, but from my experience, there seems to be a lot of 'money up for grabs' by people i would say are unfit for even looking after their own children.

I dont know what needs to happen, but something should x

Smudge588 Sun 03-Nov-13 18:10:40

I have some experience of the classroom lesson as a friend of mine goes into schools to deliver it. She volunteers from aviva and I think if you have an aviva site in your city they have volunteers who will come into schools to talk about it. PM me if you are interested and I'll put you in touch with her. Agree the focus should be on what running away from but I do think this is a good programme in that it does educate young people with some facts and that might just make all the difference.

Wonderstuff Sun 03-Nov-13 19:49:59

I was thinking that seems very high as a stat, but as a teacher I probably don't hear of every child who stays with mates. I do remember as a teen my own parents letting my friends stay a few times, I remember one mate being into drugs and ending up sleeping rough, one of my brothers mates stayed for quite a long time. I remember reading Stone Cold as a teen and it really sticking with me. I am from a lovely stable home though, so many kids have awful home lives, I don't think many teens run off on a whim.

Inthechelseahotel Sun 03-Nov-13 20:29:30

taffleee I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I'm a foster carer and I wish I could have fostered you thanks

Is there anything you can do about the treatment you received as eg being kicked in the face was a serious assault. It might be cathartic to bring this cruel woman to justice.

taffleee Sun 03-Nov-13 20:31:11

Wonder on a whole, 'teen' children run away from homes on the majority where they cannot relate to their parents - or their parents cant relate to them -

This seems to be a lost cause, because it often doesn't come under the 'watch' of so called 'services', where their prying eyes seem to lay in 'deprived' areas, and this is not right, their looking in the wrong areas, or maybe looking for 'easy targets'??

It's a worry............

taffleee Sun 03-Nov-13 20:41:28

Inthechel Thank you x

I'm talking about 20 years ago, and I now live a world away from my horrible past - i've never spoken about my experiences with the 'care' system, and to be honest, being kicked in the face and thrown out of a house, for putting make up on her pillow, was one of the nicer things i experienced -

I wish you did foster me, as you seem lovely x and I hope things have changed now x I'm still not in contact with my family, but have a beautiful family of my own, my experiences do still haunt me, and i'm kind of new to this site, but am finding myself opening up a little (right or wrong?) I dont know....

taffleee Sun 03-Nov-13 20:48:45

I just think older kids may need some 'understanding shoulders', whether their doing right or wrong, I know it would of helped me -

Inthechelseahotel Sun 03-Nov-13 20:52:47

So pleased you have your own lovely family and I know you will treasure them forever but it really is outrageous that you went through all that whilst in the home of someone who was trusted to keep you safe and loved more thanks from me xx

Do you ever feel the need to tackle these demons who haunt you?

cheeseandcrackers Sun 03-Nov-13 21:05:50

In response to the first comment querying the statistics, the 'less than half a child per class' calculation is per year, so by the time a child reaches 16, if it's not always the same child running away, on average 2.5 children per class will have run away (0.5 per year for 5 years of secondary school). If that's reduced a bit to account for repeat runaways, the 2 children per class figure sounds accurate enough.

taffleee Sun 03-Nov-13 21:37:02

Inthechel to be honest, not until I have recently been on here and read some threads, which have really upset me -

I have a busy life with my lovely family, but maybe a little chat with someone about some stuff wouldn't hurt, if you get me, going to do that x

Inthechelseahotel Sun 03-Nov-13 22:09:28

Sounds good smile

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