Message from Miss Bleasdale – 20 September – Knife Crime Assemblies and Safeguarding

Dear parent/carer

It has been a genuine pleasure to see students returning to school and experiencing a much more rounded education following the disruption seen during the last 18 months. I have been made to feel very welcome by the staff and students and it is clearly a fantastic school community in which to work. The support from parents, staff and students has been exceptional and I feel fortunate to have a leading role in pastoral care, guidance and support at Haslingden High School and Sixth Form.

There are many challenges that students and their families face and we will continue to adopt a proactive approach to ensure everyone is aware of how to keep themselves safe and how to access support if they need it. During assemblies this week we will be covering two key topics – knife crime and peer on peer abuse.

You will no doubt be aware that one of the national priorities for the Police is to educate and reduce the instances of knife crime that we sadly see all too frequently in the national news.  We are fortunate to have a very close working relationship with our local community Policing team and in recent discussions, they have offered to run a 40-minute workshop for all students on ‘the dangers of knife crime and its impact on young people and their families’. These sessions form part of the Police’s national strategy and Lancashire Constabulary’s ‘Edge’ Campaign that have been positively received by many local schools.

The workshops will take place this week on Thursday 23 September for each year group.  Whilst they will be delivered in a very sensitive and professional manner some of the content may potentially be upsetting, especially if a student, or someone close to them, has personally been affected by knife crime.  If you have any concerns either ahead of Thursday or indeed afterwards, please do not hesitate to contact your son/daughters’ Head of Year who will be happy to offer any support that is required in the first instance.

Assemblies will also take place as normal during form time this week.  The focus includes a safeguarding update and information around peer on peer abuse which again has also received significant media coverage nationally. Safeguarding will always remain a priority and whilst students are encouraged to report concerns to any adult in school, this week we launch a new app called ‘Speak up; Speak out’.  The app is now live on school iPads and students are able to report any issues in confidence. The SHARP (School Help Advice Reporting Page) system is still available via our school website for all stakeholders to report concerns anonymously.

Kind regards

Jo Bleasdale, Deputy Headteacher