School drama on child exploitation

Headlands School Head Teacher Sarah Bone. --'NBFP PA1450-9

Headlands School Head Teacher Sarah Bone. --'NBFP PA1450-9

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Headlands School pupils performed a drama piece last night to help address the topic of child sexual exploitation.

The school is the first in the East Riding to tackle the sensitive issue in this form and the rationale is to ensure children are not at risk.

Sarah Bone, Headlands headteacher, said: “This performance is a preventative measure to ensure children do not become vulnerable.

“Our aim is to increase children’s knowledge and understanding of this sensitive issue and know where to seek help should they, or someone they know, be at risk.”

A short production called ‘Now I Lay Me Down’ has been created by Thom Strid, who is the director of Croft Creative, with the Year 10 GCSE drama students. Thom specialises in themes surrounding vulnerability in children including self-harm, drugs, alcohol, and mental health.

The seven-minute play was performed by the drama students. In attendance were parents, students, the Police and councillors from East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

The drama comes after a Crimestoppers event at Bridlington Spa earlier this month where Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside Police, Matthew Grove was in attendance. A survivor of abuse from Rotherham gave a powerful speech to the packed audience on the night.

Mr Grove said: “If there is one type of crime that outrages every decent person in society, it is the sexual abuse of children. We all have a duty to look for signs of abuse and report them, and also to educate our children that if something feels wrong it probably is, and give them the confidence to speak out. It is our responsibility as adults to listen to them when they do.

“I have recently put £30,000 of funding into two projects to increase awareness of child sexual exploitation aimed at both adults and young people. Crimestoppers, together with the High Sheriff of East Yorkshire, have launched a website www.notinourcommunity.org to help young people get the information they need to stay safe and protect themselves.

“One of the key points she made was that when she was a teenager she would take more notice of other young people than adults.

“That is why I was delighted to hear the students at Headlands School are running a drama performance on this subject, it is vital we get the message out in schools and who better to deliver it than young people themselves.”

The other project Matthew Grove has funded is the launch of a mobile app for young people, designed by five teenage girls from East Yorkshire called The Care Monkeys.

Young people can visit www.caremonkeys.co.uk and download the free app which is packed with advice and the facility to report abuse.

If you have any concerns that a child you know may be a victim of Child Sexual Exploitation, report it to your local police on 101.

Alternatively you can report it to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org/cse. In an emergency or if a crime is ongoing always dial 999.