The last day of school often heralds the first cry for help

Expect last-minute disclosures of home-life problems from at-risk children on the final day before the holidays

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On the last day of term, long after the other children had gone home, after the staff had stuffed all the leaving presents into their cars, Cassie appeared at my door.

Like many children, Cassie did not want to go home for six weeks with no recourse to the adults at school.

It was then that she made the disclosure: her stepdad was coming into her room most nights, and she was ashamed and scared.

The year before, it had been a slightly older boy, Paul, who disclosed on the last day of term how his brother would take drugs in their shared bedroom and then become violent and aggressive.

There ...

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