Lesson resources for schools, to teach children and young people about the law, policing and safeguarding.
|Does it work?||
Child sexual exploitation and abuse
Cybercrime including fraud
Diversity and inclusion
Drugs and alcohol
Ethics and values
Violence against women and girls
Vulnerability and safeguarding
Supt. J Troisi, Sgt. T Regan, Sgt. G Barker
Voluntary/not for profit organisation
|Stage of practice||
The practice is implemented.
|Scale of initiative||
Children and young people
This initiative aims to support schools in delivering expertly planned lessons designed to develop a deep awareness of risks, citizenship and the law. This supports the wider aim of creating a world where children and young people are safe.
There is hope that this initiative’s impact in schools will inspire a generation of change makers who will help shape a positive, inclusive, and lawful society for everyone. Moreover, the educational resources provided support teachers with unique lessons that develop children’s understanding, resilience and willingness to support each other.
Overall, this initiative intends to educate, prevent, and provide early intervention to children and young people by providing a resource that is accurate in terms of policing, yet appropriate to be delivered by education professionals in a safe, secure personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) setting. Specifically, it will:
- educate children on some of the more complex areas of policing
- provide lessons that align with the West Yorkshire Police strategy and priorities
In the longer term, it is hoped that benefits of Pol-Ed will become apparent when the children become adults in the community and have a better understanding of the role of the police, insofar that it does not only enforce the law; it is also there to protect the community. This would potentially yield a benefit in:
- demand reduction
- crime prevention
- greater engagement
- a higher level of trust and confidence in the police
The Police Education programme (Pol-Ed) is an educational resource created internally by West Yorkshire Police for delivery by teachers. It was initially created in 2019, however it has since gone through various stages of development to establish whether schools would proactively use educational material created by a police service which focuses on law and offences.
West Yorkshire worked with the Diversity, Equality & Inclusion (DEI) Team to ensure that content created is also subject to assessment and is compliant with the Equality Act 2010.
The programme has been keen to mitigate against any adverse impact on the community. Especially in relation to those with protected characteristics relating to age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief sex, sexual orientation in line with the main topics/themes that the force is asking teachers to deliver.
The current Pol-Ed team consists of a superintendent and two sergeants, and the use of internal and external ad-hoc departments and partners. It will continue to operate in this manner until a civilian staffing structure is implemented.
Internal departments consist of teams or colleagues within the organisation who are supporting with the review and delivery of Pol-Ed when required, which include, but are not limited to:
- corporate communication
- digital policing
- legal services
- learning and organisation development
- diversity, equality and inclusion team
- commercial services
- regional procurement
External support includes input from our subject matter experts and relevant partners or stakeholders who support aspects of Pol-Ed on an ad-hoc basis, including:
- PSHE experts
- design and branding
- Huddersfield University
- web developers
- local authority support
Pol-Ed can be considered part of the West Yorkshire Police strategy of education, prevention, and early intervention. This is achieved by taking information that is open to the public and developing the content in such a context that it is safe to deliver as part of a school lesson. Working with subject matter experts within the PSHE arena, the Pol-Ed programme has credibility. By liaising with learning and organisational development, the new Pol-Ed product has benefitted from an internal QA process where resources are approved by experts in policing to ensure extra credibility.
The curriculum ranges from junior to secondary school age (key stages two to four) linked to the PSHE Association objectives. Key policing themes include:
- domestic violence
- violence against women and girls
- gang related crime
- child sexual exploitation
- anti-social behaviour
- road safety
- cyber-related crime
An Equality and Human Rights Assessment has been completed and will be revisited on a continual basis and upon completion of the resource redevelopment process.
The team conducted an evaluation with Huddersfield University to better understand the performance of Pol-Ed, the voice of the customer, and the potential impact of the product in schools.
The aims of the initial evaluation were to:
- determine the take-up of the Pol-Ed package across schools in West Yorkshire
- establish the extent to which Pol-Ed is being used, and how it is being used
- consider the perceived benefits of Pol-Ed
- ascertain the reasons why some schools have not used it, or used it very little, and to consider what changes to Pol-Ed might increase uptake/use
- gather initial information relating to perceptions of impact or change resulting from the use of Pol-Ed
A mixed methodology was used to ensure the aims are appropriately addressed. This took place through quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews and/or focus groups with primary and secondary schools countrywide. Findings submitted regarded perceived and actual benefits of the programme with several learning points identified.
Pol-Ed was found to impact teachers through:
- increased confidence in delivering material (particularly complex or sensitive issues)
- ‘quality assurance’ of police involvement in materials
- greater student retention of information
Pol-Ed impact on the school community:
- raised awareness of various community issues (e.g. alcohol, cyber-related crime)
- helped break down misperceptions such as those learnt at home
- greater understanding and appreciation of police role in community
Pol-Ed impact on students:
- increased knowledge and awareness of risk
- greater awareness of issues in communities – also demonstrated how to keep themselves safe
- more knowledge of role of police in society, more positive perceptions, ‘trusted people'
Through the early stages during the national lockdowns to date, there has been significant interest in Pol-Ed from both policing and education leaders, communities, and political figures, highlighting that this form of proactive early intervention is essential in a young person’s development, which has led to growth in registrations.
It is imperative for neighbourhood and school-based officers to provide advice on the programme to increase understanding of it and stimulate registration.
Schools have many priorities in terms of lesson content, therefore West Yorkshire Police re-designed lesson plans with PSHE specialists to ensure that they comply with PSHE objectives, Ofsted lines of enquiry and policing priorities to maximise impact and usability.
Articulating shared goals and aims has been key with the benefits within education which include:
- reduced truancies and exclusions
- education colleagues feeling empowered
- legal misconceptions and ambiguities clarified
- quality safeguarding
- partnership working
- reduced workload
It was also learnt that there was need for a more focused coverage to address priority areas, such as sexual violence and harassment, child online abuse and the perception that young people have of the police.
All secondary lessons have been designed to be flexible with a 20/40/60-minute delivery model to meet different curriculum needs.
It is important to demonstrate a wide range of assessment opportunities so students can demonstrate their progress.