Following a summer of depressingly frequent news coverage of knife crime and fatalities involving children and young people, I was interested to hear about an event being organised by the Home Office in London on 8th October. The Serious Violence Strategy event aims to bring together police, health, education, social services, youth offending services, housing and the voluntary sector with the aim of supporting local action on tackling serious violence.
School and academy representatives are being encouraged to attend with the aim of growing local partnerships and sharing best practice.
In my experience, schools are keen to work with the community and develop stronger partnerships to help their pupils and their families. Yet too often they are held back by lack of time and resources. SENCOs are too busy offering support in the classroom and meeting with families; safeguarding leads are out at conferences and team meetings supporting the most vulnerable children; the pastoral care teams and support workers are often the first to be hit by ever tighter school budgets. It often leaves only the most determined of senior leaders in a school to get out into the community and build these vital relationships. Relationships which need time, energy, enthusiasm and creativity to really flourish and bring about positive change in communities where violent crime involving children is all too depressingly common.
These Home Office Serious Violence Strategy events will be held across England and Wales between October 2018 and March 2019. If you are interested in going to the first event on 8th October in London (SE1 9NH) contact SVevents@homeoffice.gov.uk