PCC trials anti-violence programme in primary school
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner is funding a
project which is educating primary school children about the
dangers of knife crime, violence and bullying.
David Jamieson has backed the initiative which is aimed at 6 to
11 year olds and is the first trial of its kind in the West
Midlands. It sees children from Coundon Primary School in Coventry
mentor other children.
The Mentors in Violence Prevention programme already takes place
in 43 secondary schools across our region, but with knife crime up
85% since 2012 experts have advised that the important work needs
to be carried out at a younger age in order to have a greater
The teaching methods and content of the programme is all
tailored to the age of the pupils.
The scheme - which was introduced by the PCC through the
Violence Prevention Alliance - encourages children to intervene and
report behaviour they are worried or concerned about. It's hoped
the project will discourage youth violence and help bring down the
number of exclusions in schools.
Initiatives which encourage children to learn from each other
have been shown to be particularly effective as they redefine
acceptable behaviour for themselves within classrooms.
The Mentors in Violence Prevention course, which initiated in
the United States, has shown it can reduce exclusions and
detentions by a quarter.
If the initiative is deemed a success then it may well be rolled
out to other primary schools in our area.
Commenting on the MVP programme the West Midlands Police and
Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: "Sadly violent crime across
the country is rising and the West Midlands is not immune.
"That is why it is so important that we intervene at the
earliest possible opportunity to educate our young people about the
dangers of violence and what they should do if they witness it.
"If we are to tackle knife crime we must ensure everybody,
including children, know what to do if they are worried about the
behaviour of others.
"This programme has proved to be a huge success in secondary
schools and is already getting positive results at Coundon Primary
Jayne Ellis is the Head teacher at Coundon Primary School, she
said: "We are lucky that we don't have a big problem with violence
or bullying at our school, but we see it as our responsibility to
make sure our children know what to do when they step outside of
the school gates.
"The children are learning lots from the MVP programme and the
feedback I'm getting from pupils and parents is very positive.
"MVP is tailored so it is appropriate for pupils of all ages. I
feel strongly that lots of other schools would benefit if they
adopted the scheme."