Tuesday, 31 March 2009

I started the day at the 'Prevent Launch Event' at Leeds Town Hall where I was talking about where the 'Prevent' agenda fitted into our work on safeguarding and safer schools...

It was encouraging that twenty schools managed to make the launch of this vitally important initiative alongside colleagues from West Yorkshire Police, some of the Leeds colleges and colleagues from Neighbourhoods and Housing, Education Leeds and Children's Services. The event was opened by Cllr Andrew Carter, Leader of the Council, which reflected the importance of the event. We heard a personal story from Zaf Shah, a former Great Britain Tae Kwon Do champion and Commonwealth athlete. Zaf is Director of Clinical Management Solutions Ltd and a specialist in Muslim affairs and his session was both challenging and interesting. My colleague Andrew Hobbs, who is currently on secondment to the Government Office, talked about the DCSF Toolkit 'Learning Together to be Safe' which provides schools and colleges with guidance on preventing violent extremism. Detective Inspector Graham Archer from the Counter Terrorism Unit took everyone through 'ACT NOW' a resource for schools. The session was closed by Chief Superintendent Mark Milson who stressed that this is an area where no one is the expert and where we can tackle the issues by working together to deliver brilliant universal provision alongside targeted work around protecting our most vulnerable young people.

It was an interesting and stimulating morning for everyone involved and I am only sorry that more schools weren't able to be there.

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