Harlow Council chair grilled by Passmores Academy students

Education: Secondary / Sat 18th Oct 2014 at 09:47am

Passmores and Ian BeckettBy Siobhan Wood

CHAIR of Harlow Council Ian Beckett came to Passmores Academy to be interviewed by three year ten students who are campaigning against antisocial behaviour as part of their Citizenship GCSE.

The students, Ben Chadburn of Stile Croft, Jack Golding of Bishopfield and Josh Peachy of Burnett Park, decided to tackle antisocial behaviour for their coursework as it is an issue they are concerned about.

Josh said: “Before we started the campaign we noticed people getting in the way of everyone and targeting the young kids.”

Ben told the Chair about the antisocial behaviour they want to stop: “It’s the disruption to the town, causing loud noise, disrespect to other people, vandalism and low level crime.”

The questions Cllr Beckett answered focused on why people get involved in antisocial behaviour and whether enough was being done to prevent it.

The students plan to run schemes using the school’s facilities and repair vandalism on the streets, which they hope will improve perception of young people in the area, as well as to continue the litter picks that Cllr Beckett participates in.

Head of Citizenship, Nathalie Josiah, said: “The students work completely independently, contacting the councillors, MPs and police officers and arranging these interviews. Doing the campaigns and having people come in to school to talk to them makes the students realise that they actually can go into politics. They have a political voice and when they leave school they will be informed adults living in Harlow.”

Cllr Beckett said: “What is different about working with the school in this way is that we have established a relationship where we can work in partnership and share ideas. It has the potential thereafter to be proactive rather than reactive; rather than me having to come and have a chat with the head teacher about issues that the local neighbourhood are raising, the young people are aware of the issues and they’re actually saying: ‘Right, what can we do about changing it, and how can we use our local politicians to help us make that a reality?’”

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