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100-PLUS CHILDREN STOPPED AT MARKET ON A SCHOOL DAY

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Representatives of Surrey CC's education welfare service and Surrey police swooped on the Thursday market at Kempto...
Representatives of Surrey CC's education welfare service and Surrey police swooped on the Thursday market at Kempton Park, Sunbury, last week and stopped 99 children who should have been at school, including 22 who were there without an adult.

A further nine children were working illegally on stalls.

The exercise was a joint initiative between the two services, working in partnership with local schools and United Racecourses, and followed reports of children seen at the market on school days, either alone or with their parents. A large proportion of the children stopped were from outside the Spelthorne area.

Principal education welfare manager, Sue Howe, said: 'The initiative was welcomed by the event organisers at Kempton Market. Due to its success, it is likely to be repeated at other venues across the county.

'It was aimed at protecting children from danger and from being exploited by employers. It was also to emphasise the importance of school attendance if they are to achieve their full educational potential,' she said.

In all cases where children were stopped at the market their schools will be informed, regardless of whether an adult was with them, and unaccompanied children were told that their parents would also be notified.

Where children were working illegally, appropriate warnings were given to the employers.

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