One of the other ‘hats’ I wear is as a school governor for a senior school in my local area. ‘My’ school is part of a multi academy trust (or MAT) made up of five primary schools and one senior school. My school is a large, multicultural, multi ability, inclusive school. I think the school is brilliant and really serves the children in my area well. As the head teacher says, our school population is a ‘slice of life’.
Part of being a governor is that we have training every so often to make sure we can comply with the legal obligations and sharpen our skills to serve the school.
Our last training was focussed on safeguarding; keeping children safe in school and equipping them to keep themselves safe outside school too.
There is a worrying rise of child criminal exploitation – be that sexual exploitation, drugs and county lines or any other criminal activity. We are fortunate in my area that we have a multidiscipline team put together in our local authority, sharing information across the groups that have contact with children and often do no share information. ‘Dare to share’ is their motto. The team is in its infancy but there looks to be good possibilities ahead with teachers, social workers, police and others all communicating. That can only be positive.
We were also privileged to hear Lorin LaFave speak. She is the one of the founding members of The Breck Foundation, set up after the murder of her son, Breck Bednar. It was not comfortable hearing her speak and nor should it be. What it really brings home is how vulnerable our teenagers are. It is hard when they are the size of adults and they seem to know what they are about but we have to remind ourselves that they are children. They are still at times naïve and that makes them vulnerable. They are all so tech savvy and parents (and teachers and police) can be left behind. Breck’s case showed that in all its awfulness.
It was hard listening and hard viewing the video produced by The Breck Foundation but it is necessary. We have to face these issues and speak about them. We should also hug our teenagers a little bit tighter. Even if we have to reach up to do it.
Click HERE to read more about The Breck Foundation. As they say, Play Virtual, Live Real