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This is NewVIc's time to make a stand against knife crime
On Thursday 14 March, NewVIc is hosting their annual anti-knife crime event - ‘Life not Knife'.
Students are invited to take part in activities and workshops with special guests including Local MPs, The British Red Cross, Trident Central Gangs Unit, a lead Trauma Nurse from The Royal London Hospital and a Self Defence Expert. The aim is to educate students on the dangers and impact of knife crime, teach them how to be safe and learn about the support that is available to them.
MPs have also been invited to take part in Q&A sessions with students to find out more about what the government can do regarding this issue and hear how students are affected by this issue.
Councillor James Beckles visited the college on Tuesday 12 March to speak with students and MP Lyn Brown will be visiting the college on Friday 15 March.
NewVIc's student surveys are consistently high for ‘safe in college' and earlier this year the college was awarded an outstanding by Ofsted for its provision of personal development, behaviour and welfare. As a college, NewVIc is seeking to lead on the issue of knife crime and use their expertise in personal development, behaviour and welfare to support and develop its students by educating them on the impact of knife crime and how to stay safe.
Knife crime among young people is on the up. Last year, Newham was found to be the borough with the highest murder rate in the capital. Knife crime is a very serious and real threat facing the young people in the borough and sees many of our students at risk and affected by this issue.
"Life Not Knife has been an annual event at NewVIc for the past 10 years. It is fantastic that our work with students has now been officially recognised by Ofsted as outstanding. The tutorial programme at NewVIc tackles many serious threats facing young people. As a college, we tackle these issues head on with our students and believe that having an open dialogue is extremely important." - Mandeep Gill, Principal and Chief Executive
In addition to this event students have been taking part in a range of activities workshops about knife crime. NewVIc's ‘Lives over Knives' student ambassadors have received training from Trident Central Gangs Unit in how to identify weapon hiding spots and the whistleblowing process. The ambassadors have also been trained on gang grooming and will train other students what they have learnt in tutorial sessions.
NewVIc's Student Union is also working with Citizens UK on a campaign about youth violence. The campaign joins together police, schools and Newham councillors. As part of the campaign, students have taken part in a listening project. Their recommendations and ideas in finding solutions to youth violence were fed back to the police and local councillors.
Other NewVIc students are also involved with the Student Commission on Knife Crime project with Leaders Unlocked, a social enterprise which exists to give young people a voice and ability to make social change.
The Student Commission on Knife Crime in London project is a partnership of 7 FE colleges bringing together over 30 of their students with representation across London. The student group are working to identify causes and influences on knife crime and on recommendations for new innovative interventions for colleges. Leaders Unlocked have been training these students in leadership skills so that the project is delivered via a peer-to-peer model. They are now developing a film and tutorial plans which will reach 10,000 16-19 year olds across the college partners.
"Staff establish a safe environment for students around the college, and implement highly effective strategies to inform students on how to stay safe from risks in the area, such as gang affiliation and knife crime."
"Leaders and managers pay particular attention to making students aware of the risks associated with affiliation to gangs and violent criminal activity in the area. The well planned tutorial programme brings local topics and issues to the fore of students' minds. The youth safety team works closely with students identified as being at risk. For example, in the citizenship programme, students complete campaigns about the risks from gang crime."
NewVIc (Newham Sixth Form College) is based in the heart of East London and is one of the largest sixth form colleges in the UK. NewVIc offers the widest range of courses from Entry-Level through to A Level and is proud of its broad and diverse student body. The college is committed to ensuring students achieve their diverse ambitions and is successful in securing progression to a wide-range of destinations. These include university, apprenticeships, employment and further training. In 2018, the college received its best ever results which saw a 98% A Level pass rate and more than 50% of BTEC students achieving Triple Distinction* in Level 3 Extended Diplomas. In 2019 NewVIc was graded overall as ‘Good' by Ofsted and recognised as ‘Outstanding' or its provision of Personal Development, Welfare and Behaviour. NewVIc is known for its excellent enrichment opportunities, effective work experience programme and tailored support system. The college has a thriving student community and active Student Union which was awarded for having one of the largest voter turn outs in the country.