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The Howard School launches new community forum

Date: 08/02/2011           Category: Community Safety Partnership

Students at a Medway school will use a new forum launched this week to explore ways to bridge the generation gap and get more involved in their community .

Howard School in Derwent Way, Rainham, has set up a Schools and Community Together (SACT) committee. It met for the first time on Monday (7 February).

The SACT links pupils directly with agencies looking after community safety in Medway including Medway Council, Kent Police in Medway and Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

It will meet on a regular basis with pupils encouraged to think up and take part in community projects.

Students will also learn from neighbourhood police teams and the council's community officers about the process – and the cost – of removing graffiti, picking up litter and dealing with criminal damage.

The opening meeting was attended by 30 children from all year groups. Plans to included the community in garden projects and pupils led classes on using computers and the internet were among the plans discussed.

The first SACT launched at neighbouring Rainham School for Girls in November 2010. The forum held its second meeting this week (Thursday, 10 February) to discuss ideas for future projects.

If successful the SACT format could eventually be rolled out to all Medway schools.

Cllr Mike O’Brien, portfolio holder for community safety and enforcement and vice-chair of Medway Community Safety Partnership, said: “The idea for these new forums is an excellent one.

“It will not only give youngsters a greater insight into the work various agencies do in Medway, but may change the often misplaced perceptions older people have about the youth of today and vice-versa.

“This first meeting went exceptionally well. The students discussed some great ideas on how they could make a more positive contribution to their community and I hope these will come to fruition in due course.”

Paul Morris, principal at The Howard School, added: “The Howard School is a focus for the local community.

"Our reputation and engagement has been significantly improved in recent years. Students at the school want to work and improve our community via the SACT."