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Repairing communities: Citizenship, Gangs and Knife Crime Wednesday 4 February 2009 London.

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Presentation on theme: "Repairing communities: Citizenship, Gangs and Knife Crime Wednesday 4 February 2009 London."— Presentation transcript:

1 Repairing communities: Citizenship, Gangs and Knife Crime Wednesday 4 February 2009 London

2 A Brief History The Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA) established a Post-16 Citizenship Development Programme in 2002, in response to the Crick report 1 Within 4 years there were over 130 projects affiliated – from across a wide range of learning sectors – schools with 6 th forms, 6 th form colleges, F.E. colleges, work based learning providers, and the youth service There was a huge diversity in approaches and methodologies but based around a common definition of Citizenship Learning and the need for that learning to be active In 2006 the LSDA became the Learning and Skills Network (LSN), funded by the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA). The development programme then became the Support Programme QIA and the Centre for Excellence in Leadership came together on 1 October 2008 to form Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) – LSIS now the funder of the programme 1 Citizenship For Year Olds In Education And Training, Report of the Advisory Group to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, FEFC 2000

3 So – what is citizenship? Citizenship education gives young people the knowledge, skills and understanding to play an effective role in society, as informed, critical citizens. It aims to enable young people to participate in decision- making, and to have a genuine voice that is listened to and acted upon. Citizenship aims to give young people the confidence and conviction that they can act with others, have influence and make a difference in their communities (locally, nationally and globally).

4 Gangs, Knife Crime, Guns and Violence And Citizenship? Belonging to a gang can not be explained away simply – there are various, often complex, and often over-lapping explanations as to why young people belong to gangs. It is certainly the case that young people who belong to a gang, whether sought after or not, gain some form of respect and status from fellow gang members. Citizenship is about empowering young people, helping to engage them in their communities, where they can make a difference, without recourse to violence, because they are respected as young people. They have status in their communities because they are trying to tackle issues that concern them, and engaging in the democratic process to do so. Citizenship is therefore one route, not an exclusive one, but one route nevertheless, to try to enable young people who belong to gangs to negotiate alternative journeys through the complexities of youth disengagement, disenfranchisement, the need for protection and safer communities, and indeed the need for genuine influence and power to make a difference.

5 CASE STUDY A Some students on an A level Sociology course at a college investigate the possible causes and actual consequences of gang crime. They organise a session on gang crime for other students at the college, carry out research on the internet and plan a role play. They book a speaker and use the role play to help stimulate discussion. During a review of the activity, they identify what they have learned about the political, social and moral issues related to gang membership.

6 CASE STUDY B Following a tragic stabbing accident in which a fellow-student is killed, some fellow students create a garden in his memory. Some contact a local builder for advice and free building materials, and staff from a garden centre for help in garden design. They organise a collection in the college to pay for the materials and the plants, and spend their free time doing the work. When the garden is ready, they plan and run an opening event, at which they all say something about their friend and unveil a plaque to his memory.

7 CASE STUDY C A group of young people at a local Youth club have been working with a residential home for older people. They have become friendly with the residents and are concerned about the residents fears. They organise a tea party in order to create a forum for open discussions of resident fears. Some of the students organise the food, some prepare icebreaking activities and the rest prepare the statements for the debate. The session is a great success and the residents thank them, noting how the event has changed their views of younger people.

8 CASE STUDY D A district council wishes to consult young people on a new community plan. Some apprentices on a Construction course plan a programme of consultation events about a range of local issues, for their peers They create a video of voxpop clips which they use to stimulate discussion at the events. These events are also attended by representatives of the district council and the police. The young people at the events vote on aspects of the community plan, and the apprentices produce a report for the district council and local police. They evaluate the success of the activity and their own learning.

9 Young people can join gangs for a number of reasons. They can join to get: recognition excitement friends acceptance a sense of belonging power over other people money from crime protection territory respect

10 Keynote Address Rt Hon Tony McNulty MP Minister for London and Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform at the Department for Work and Pensions

11 Gus John Chief Executive of the Gus John Partnership and author of Taking a Stand member of the Street Weapons Commission

12 Where Now? Create Not Hate Safer endz Mothers Against Violence Angela Lawrence Reclaim Ruth Ibegnuna URBIS

13 LEAP Confronting Conflict: Safer Streets and Communities

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