Giving our students the safeguarding information they need to make sound choices and decisions is crucial and something we place great importance on.
We also recognise that like most young people they sometimes pay less attention when it is us as school staff who keep on giving those messages in a classroom.
We make sure therefore that as much as possible we put on sessions and workshops with external visitors, those who have direct experience of the various areas we want to teach them about such as criminal exploitation, knife crime and radicalisation as well as organisations who can work with them to give them strategies for taking care of their mental and emotional health.
Our visitors range from police who are on the job, substance abuse workers, those who were groomed into far right groups and spent over ten years in extreme gangs and groups, a former parachute regiment soldier who went on to work in varied Police departments including; Organised Crime, Murder Squad, Gang Unit- based in Moss Side and the Counter-Terrorism Unit.
Recently we have provided workshops and sessions for our students working with the following external providers and speakers:
- Dean Coady OBE on gangs, criminal exploitation – https://urbanpuresolutions.com/about/
- PC Matthew Scott on knife crime
- Lancashire Emotional Health Service in Schools on mental well being http://www.lehss.com/
- Addaction (We Are With You) on substance abuse and addiction https://www.wearewithyou.org.uk/about-us/
- Andrew Small * (not his real name) Small Steps on anti extreme right and anti-radicalisation. https://smallstepsconsultants.com/
I am always proud of how our students engage with these speakers and these complex topics. Feedback from one of our visitors Dean Coady included:
“Can I say what an absolute credit your young people were to you. They were polite, courteous, engaged and engaging. The issues we discussed, in relation to Criminal Exploitation affecting young people, was at times quite complex, however your young learners fully committed to exploring this in a very, respectful,mature and thoughtful manner. They demonstrated critical thinking skills, use of prior learning with just the right amount of ‘swagger’ that I like!
They are stars, with a special mention to the young man that helped me by standing at the front during a role play, and also the young man that left the lesson at the start, but showed great maturity by returning.”
We will continue to look out for further opportunities for our young people to meet, listen to and engage with external guest and visitors who can add to their understanding of risks and how to make sound, informed decisions that keep them safer.