New anti-knife crime lesson plans delivered to high school teachers

PHSE teachers have been sent new lesson plans on knife crime (stock image)  Picture: KATIE COLLINS/PRESS ASSOCIATION

PHSE teachers have been sent new lesson plans on knife crime (stock image) Picture: KATIE COLLINS/PRESS ASSOCIATION

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High schools around Suffolk are being encouraged to teach children about the realities of carrying a knife ahead of the summer holidays.

This week, 20,000 Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) teachers across the country were sent new lesson plans designed to challenge myths and highlight the importance of good role models.

The delivery comes after figures revealed children as young as eight had been caught with knives at Suffolk schools in recent years - prompting campaigners to call for the widespread rollout of metal detectors and security guards.

Hour-long lessons have been developed with the PSHE Association, based on feedback from teachers and aimed at children aged 11 to 16.

The association said lessons were being promoted among members in Suffolk and were free to download for all schools.

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Guidance notes for teachers include a list of slang terms to listen out for and challenge in lessons, such as borra, burner, cutter, nank, shank, tool (knife); duppied, shanked, sheffed (stabbed), and mandem, blud, squaddie (gang or gang member).

Last year, Suffolk police recorded 23 cases of children threatening someone with a knife or taking a bladed weapon into school.

Superintendent Kerry Cutler said 23 crimes amounted to less than 1% of the school population, but that police had stepped up work with schools to educate children about knife crime, gangs and 'county lines' drug supply.

New lesson plans feature real-life cases of young people from the latest #knifefree campaign, along with content on the importance of having good role models.

Crime minister Victoria Atkins said: "Early intervention is a key part of our Serious Violence Strategy and it's vital that we give young people the tools and resilience to keep themselves safe over the summer holidays."

Jonathan Baggaley, PSHE Association chief executive, said: "These new materials are designed to challenge inaccurate perceptions about knife crime, help young people develop the confidence to resist pressure to carry knives, and to recognise positive role models. We encourage all schools to download and deliver these free materials."

Current lessons on knife crime, developed by the Home Office and PSHE Association, have been downloaded 14,000 times since being introduced in July last year.

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