My interest was taken by a blog from the National Learning Trust which was discussing the increasing role of PHSE in the curriculum and it's current interest to Ofsted inspectors. It is clear that PSHE will take on a much greater focus – definitely not as a bolt-on but as a key aspect to support the development of children and young people. Safeguarding and Prevent will remain a priority but the focus will be extended to how schools are using strategies to deal with the issues arising from the context in which they work; for example conflict in the community including gang culture and knife crime. Leaders including governors will need to be prepared to answer the following 3 questions.
• How do you know that young people are safe in your school/community?
• What are the risks that face your young people in your context?
• What are doing to help address the risks?
There is a lot of synergy with the work IARS delivers, particularly around the local community and gang culture work and it occurred to me that teachers and governors could find some free resources through our website. Indeed our accredited online courses may well help educators focus on some of these issues and at the same time achieve CPD accreditation that they can use for their career development. Our training programmes can be accessed here: http://www.iars.org.uk/content/ecourses
Through our training programmes, we have supported several organisations including public services, third sector organisations and policy bodies in our three areas of expertise: Justice - Equalities - Young People. We have also helped them introduce a user-led element into their way of thinking, research and policy work. The IARS International Institute is a CPD training provider and all our courses and events are accredited with CPD points. Our training sessions have been developed and are based on extensive user -led research.
Head teachers and school managers may be interested to read more about our Youth Empowerment Innovation Project which is turning Prevent on it's head by taking a Good Lives Model (GLM) approach to Prevent. Many organisations and schools I have spoken to have expressed disquiet at the Risk Needs Responsivity (RNR) approach as it treats young people as risks which need to be managed rather than valued individuals who are making a difference to society. By giving young people positive goals to achieve, they are less likely to become radicalised than if we continue to treat them as risks, the current Prevent model risks becoming a self fulfilling prophecy. Next week will see the launch of our first eBook, which compares the various national approaches to addressing the challenges of radicalisation. It will be published here: http://yeip.org/awareness-raising-material/yeip-ebooks/
and currently the bibliography is already available to download. The next phase in our YEIP project is to develop and field test alternative models to reduce radicalisation in schools, universities, young offender institutions and online. Schools who are interested in being part of this project should contact us as we will soon be going out to identify schools to work with us and our partners to test the thinking.
In the meantime, if you are interested in finding out more about our YEIP project please do access the dedicated website at yeip.org for more information.