Defending the Hood
Amid public concern at the perceived growth in knife and gun crime, the London Borough of Waltham Forest has initiated Defendin' Da Hood, an innovative youth-engagement project that aims to communicate with young people involved in local gang culture while creating pathways to improving young peoples' life chances. The project supports young people and allows them to have a voice through music and video production, and the organisation and day to day operation of a radio station. One of Defendin' Da Hood's latest projects is a CD called Living on Borough Time.
A comparable initiative has been pioneered by LEAP Confronting Conflict, a national voluntary youth organisation and registered charity providing opportunities, regionally and nationally, for young people and adults to explore creative approaches to conflicts in their lives.
Joining Liz Barclay to discuss the day is Councillor Afzal Akram the cabinet member in charge of community safety for Waltham Forest and Jessie Feinstein , a project worker at LEAP Confronting Conflict and the author of Working with Gangs, a manual aimed at professional youth workers and teachers who work with gangs.
Education Outside the Classroom
Last year the parliamentary select committee on education published a critical report on outdoor education, arguing that a bureaucratic and risk-averse culture was getting in the way of "enormously valuable" out-of-classroom learning. Many of the observers who gave evidence to the MPs believed that school trips and visits were in severe decline . The government answered by promising a manifesto along similar lines to the music manifesto. It was due to appear at the beginning of the summer but has been seriously delayed. Talking to Liz Barclay about education outside the classroom is Lancashire history teacher Stuart East who is currently organising a school trip to Morocco - part activity holiday, part volunteering; Tony Thomas the chief executive of the Field Studies Council, which has joined up with other major organisations to form the Real World Learning Partnership to influence decision makers, support teachers, and increase participation in out-of-classroom learning; and Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, one of the largest teaching unions, which strongly advises members not to participate in extra-curricula educational visits.