All staff are aware of the indicators, which may signal that children are at risk from, or are involved with serious violent crime. These may include increased absence from school, a change in friendships or relationships with older individuals or groups, a significant decline in performance, signs of self-harm or a significant change in wellbeing, or signs of assault or unexplained injuries. Unexplained gifts or new possessions could also indicate that children have been approached by, or are involved with, individuals associated with criminal networks or gangs and may be at risk of criminal exploitation. We recognise that the likelihood of involvement in serious violence may be increased by factors, such as being male, having been frequently absent or permanently excluded from school and having experienced child maltreatment and having been involved in offending.
Staff are aware of the associated risks and understand the measures in place to manage these.
We will consider the in the hours just before or just after school, when pupils are travelling to and from school is when violence can often peak, and these times can be particularly risks for young people involved in serious violence.
We will follow the advice provided in the Home Office’s Criminal exploitation of children and vulnerable adults: county lines guidance.
We recognise to help prevent violence in our setting this can require a mix of universal, targeted or specialist interventions. Our setting leaders will aim to:
- develop skills and knowledge to resolve conflict as part of the curriculum;
- challenge aggressive behaviour in ways that prevent the recurrence of such behaviour;
- understand risks for specific groups, including those that are gender-based, and target interventions;
- safeguard, and specifically organise child protection, when needed;
- carefully manage individual transitions between educational establishments, especially into Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) or alternative provision; and
- work with local partners to prevent anti-social behaviour or crime.
In order to tackle violence affecting our setting and the community, we know it is important to:
- understand the problems that young people are facing both in our setting and in their local community;
- consider possible avenues of support; and
- work with local partners (who may have valuable information, resources or expertise).
Working with the local community safety partnership, Serious Violence Duty Sub-group, the youth offending team and the neighbourhood police team will help us to achieve a full understanding of the context we are working in. As part of our emergency management planning, we have in place systems for targeting and responding to individual or group violence. Even if violent incidents themselves do not appear to be an immediate concern, there may be a need to build resilience to such problems for the future.
Evidence shows that early-stage intervention is an effective strategy for preventing children becoming involved in violence, crime or antisocial behaviour later in life. We will assess what will work best in preventing violence in our setting to decide who to involve in providing intervention.