Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
1. Introduction and background
1.1. Prevention is a key priority in the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan 2017 -2021. In the plan the Mayor has made a commitment to implement a whole school prevention pilot. The pilot will address gangs, serious youth violence (SYV) and violence against women and girls (VAWG) within the context of healthy relationships; resilience and enabling young people to make positive choices. The pilot will be delivered in four Croydon schools (one secondary and three primary feeder schools) over three academic years. Finally, the pilot will equip teachers (and other education professionals within the wider school family) with the knowledge, skills and confidence to identify and take the appropriate next steps with children and young people at risk of victimisation or offending.
1.2. Work on the whole school prevention pilot began in November 2016. The arts and education charity Tender were appointed by MOPAC to design the whole schools prevention pilot. MOPAC required the development of a whole schools approach which had a specific focus on gangs, SYV and VAWG. MOPAC also requested that Tender design an approach which took into account that young people experiences in and outside of school are influenced and informed by their age, gender, race, disability or sexuality. Tender were also required to co-design the whole schools approach in partnership with the target schools and proactively engage with statutory authorities in the borough and other agencies and services delivering gangs, SYV and VAWG interventions. This co-design work has now been completed and MOPAC will be undertaking a competitive commissioning process to identify a provider to implement the whole school approach. The successful provider will implement the approach in the same four Croydon schools which supported its design. It is anticipated that delivery in the four schools will start in January 2018 and will be completed by July 2020.
2. Issues for consideration
National context: A change in legislation
2.1 In March 2017 it was announced that the government would be extending compulsory sex education to all secondary schools and introducing relationships education for all pupils from age four. Pupils will be taught about safe and healthy relationships from the moment they start primary school. It is anticipated that government will amend the Children and Social Work Bill so all secondary schools, including academies, will have to teach sex education from September 2019.
2.2 The MOPAC pilot therefore comes at an opportune time. By the end of this pilot, MOPAC will be able to determine effective practice in terms of school based preventative work. MOPAC will be able to demonstrate what works with different age groups and identify the best prevention methodologies to adopt.
The London context: Police and Crime Plan 2017 – 2021
2.3 In the Police and Crime Plan considerable emphasis has been placed on the role of prevention and intervention in supporting victims of crime; vulnerable individuals and critically those individuals who have previously offended.
2.4 In terms of young people, the Plan states that the overall aim is to reduce the crimes that cause most harm to children and young people, such as knife crime, gang-related crime, sexual abuse and serious youth violence, and to take action against those who prey on children, either by offending against them or by grooming and exploiting them to engage in criminal behaviour.
2.5 VAWG is also a key priority in the new Plan. There is recognition that for too many women and girls harassment, abuse and violence can be a daily occurrence. The Mayor has made a commitment for a zero-tolerance approach with meaningful support for victims and survivors and significant consequences for perpetrators. The overall objective of his comprehensive VAWG priorities is to reduce violence against women and girls in London by changing the culture that enables this to happen.
Consultation feedback: Sexual Violence Needs Assessment
2.6 In partnership with NHS England’s Health in the Justice Team, MOPAC commissioned two needs assessments, one looking into sexual violence and one into child sexual exploitation. One of the primary aims of the work was to inform the way in which future services are funded by both organisations in order to better meet the needs of victims and survivors of sexual violence from 2017 onwards. In regards to prevention, the findings indicated that:
• Prevention activities are fragmented but are much needed and requested by schools;
• There is a need for a consistent programme of age appropriate prevention based work from the age of 10 years; and finally,
• There is a need for national direction and guidance so that schools/universities and further education institutions are fully aware of their responsibilities but also understand referral pathways.
It is within this national and regional context that MOPAC will be overseeing this innovative long-term whole school prevention pilot in the London Borough of Croydon.
What is a whole schools approach and why is it relevant?
2.7 The one place that most young people have in common is school. Schools and educational establishments (such as pupil referral units and alternative education providers) provide the greatest opportunity to engage with and make a difference to the safety and wellbeing of young people.
2.8 A whole school approach involves addressing the needs of pupils, staff and the wider community, not only within the curriculum, but also across the whole school and learning environment. It means working in a coordinated way and in different spaces across a school - including within the curriculum, extra-curricular activities, teacher training and community engagement.
Work undertaken to date on the whole schools approach
2.9 In November 2016, MOPAC commissioned Tender to design a whole schools approach that had a specific focus on gangs, SYV and VAWG. Tender’s work focused on:
• Outlining what is meant by a whole schools approach and why a whole schools approach is more effective than single one-off interventions;
• Providing an overview of the consultation undertaken with the four schools and the themes and issues that had arisen during this consultation;
• Providing an overarching framework for a whole schools approach;
• Devising lesson plans and projects; and finally,
• Work to be undertaken with teachers and the wider school community.
2.10 Tender’s co-design work has now been completed. Over the next few months, MOPAC will be undertaking a competitive tendering process to identify a delivery partner who will be commissioned to implement the whole schools approach in the four Croydon schools.
2.11 In April 2016 MOPAC in partnership with the London Borough of Croydon agreed that the whole schools approach – the co-design and its subsequent implementation - would be piloted in Croydon. At the time Croydon was in the top five London boroughs for safeguarding and child protection. Consultation with Croydon colleagues highlighted they were mindful of the safeguarding and child protection concerns in Croydon schools and they wished to undertake further work with MOPAC to explore how these issues could be tackled. The London Borough of Croydon and the four schools have proactively supported Tender with the design of the whole schools approach. The long term approach to this work adopted by MOPAC – the delivery of the pilot over three academic years – has been welcomed by the schools who recognise the value of a sustained and focused long term intervention.
Implementation of the Whole School Approach
2.12 A competitive tendering process will be adopted to identify a delivery partner for the implementation of the whole school approach. A total of £425,000 has been identified from the three year MOPAC Victims Fund budget to take forward the Whole Schools Approach.
2.13 The three year £425,000 funding for the implementation and the evaluation of the whole schools programme will be utilised to:
• Effectively implement the whole school prevention programme with the four pilot Croydon schools;
• Deliver a process and impact evaluation, ensuring that effective collaborative processes are in place with the implementation team.
2.14 The evaluation will:
• Determine whether the whole school approach has achieved its objectives/desired outcomes;
• Consider how the programme is being implemented and draw out key learning around what works and what does not in terms of implementing a whole school approach.
A key element of the evaluation will be the development of a tool kit outlining how the work undertaken in Croydon can be used by other London schools.
2.15 It is anticipated that the full process and impact evaluation will be submitted to MOPAC by September 2020. However the evaluation team will be required to submit two interim update reports (December 2018 and December 2019) outlining progress on agreed deliverables and outcomes. It is anticipated that the second interim update report will provide MOPAC with:
• Indicative findings on the impact of this sustained whole school prevention approach, outlining what works with specific age groups and the best methodologies to utilise;
• Indicative findings on the value of adopting a whole schools approach as opposed to single intervention programmes;
• Indications on how MOPAC can build on this prevention pilot going forward into a new Mayoral term; and finally,
• Guidance on how schools can develop a school culture or ethos which promotes healthy relationships and prevents and deters violence and abuse.
2.16 Potential applicants will have three months (July – September) to submit applications to MOPAC for evaluation. It is anticipated that a delivery partner will be appointed by November 2017 and that delivery work will begin in the four schools in January 2018.
3. Financial Comments
3.1 A total of £425,000 has been identified from the three year MOPAC Victims Fund budget to take forward the Whole Schools Approach. The Integrated Victim and Witness Services Resource Plan 2017-2020 which was signed by the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in April 2017, indicated that preventing victimisation was a key focus. It stated that prevention services in London are patchy and consistent and that MOPAC would “reduce victimisation through a whole school approach to early intervention.”
3.2 The total £425,000 requirement is a planned budget and is part of the New Priorities budget which is funded from MOPAC’s reserves.
4. Legal Comments
4.1 MOPAC’s general powers are set out in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (the 2011 Act). Section 3(6) of the 2011 Act provides that MOPAC must “secure the maintenance of the metropolitan police service and secure that the metropolitan police service is efficient and effective.” Under Schedule 3, paragraph 7 MOPAC has wide incidental powers to “do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is conducive or incidental to, the exercise of the functions of the Office.” Paragraph 7(2) (a) provides that this includes entering into contracts and other agreements.
4.2 Section 143 (1) (b) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides an express power for MOPAC, as a local policing body, to provide or commission services “intended by the local policing body to help victims or witnesses of, or other persons affected by, offences and anti-social behaviour.” Section 143(3) specifically allows MOPAC to make grants in connection with such arrangements and any grant may be made subject to any conditions that MOPAC thinks appropriate.
4.3 The powers in section 143 were given to MOPAC following the Government’s response to the consultation Getting it Right for Victims and Witnesses (2 July 2012) in which it set out a package of reforms to the way in which support services for victims of crime are to be provided.
4.4 The recommendations in this decision are in line with the legislation.
4.5 Under MOPAC’s Scheme of Delegation, approval of the strategy for the award of individual grants and the award of all individual grants (for crime reduction or other purposes) is a matter generally reserved to the DMPC (paragraph 4.8). The release of funding in accordance with the proposals set out in this decision form is accordingly to be approved by the DMPC. The delegation of responsibility for the finalisation of planning and contractual/grant arrangements, including relevant terms and the signing of agreements, to the Chief Executive Officer for activities to the value of £499,000 or less, is in accordance with the general power of delegation in section 5.
5. Equality Comments
5.1 The Police and Crime Plan and associated commissioning plans are based on two principles:
• Victims First – putting victims at the heart of everything we do.
• Reducing inequalities in communities – a focus on setting an agreed standard and addressing the disparities we see across the city.
5.2 In order to address the inequalities that exist in London, MOPAC has three targeted priorities directed at those people who are disproportionately affected by crime. The priorities aim to provide specialised services that safeguard the most vulnerable in society and reduce evident existing inequalities. These priorities are reflected in MOPAC’s victims’ commissioning plans over the next three years and are as follows:
• Keeping Children and Young People Safe
• Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls
• Standing together against extremism, hatred and intolerance
5.3 The MOPAC Whole School Approach pilot is intended to address gangs, serious youth violence and violence against women and girls and therefore addresses two of the priority areas. The prevention pilot has been informed by, and is supportive of, the previously MOPAC and NHS England commissioned needs assessments into sexual violence and child sexual exploitation.
5.4 MOPAC specifically requested that the design of the whole school programme took into account the needs of the four schools it would be delivered in. MOPAC wanted a whole schools approach that addressed a range of prevention concerns providing a coherent response to prevention as opposed to an issue based response. Often prevention work in schools is issue based and the connectivity between the various concerns are not considered or taken into account. Considering prevention holistically and designing a bespoke response has ensured that the whole schools approach will meet the needs of all the target pupils regardless of their age, gender, race, disability or sexuality.
5.5 Finally, the Government defines safeguarding in the following manner: “the process of protecting children, young adults and vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect, preventing impairment of their health and development, and ensuring they are living in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective cases that enables them to have the optimum life chances…” Therefore safeguarding is responding to, and trying to prevent, anything that puts a person’s physical, mental, emotional or social wellbeing at risk. Consequently, there is a clear relationship between equality and diversity and safeguarding as they share many interrelated components including a focus on providing a safe learning environment.
6 Background/supporting papers