EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / In one short paragraph please describe this project is about, what it has achieved, and why it is delivering excellence.

The Port Glasgow Shared Campus is currently piloting an approach to gender violence and bullying known as the ‘Mentors in Violence Prevention’ (MVP) Programme. This programme uses a ‘bystander’ approach, encouraging young people to take a stand against harassment, abuse and violence rather than just ignoring it. S6 pupils have received mentor training and are working with their fellow students throughout the school to empower them to take action in a safe way when faced with a difficult situation. Such is the success of the pilot, Inverclyde Council intends to roll out the MVP Programme to all its secondary schools.

PLANNING / · a clear rationale, defined processes and focus on stakeholder needs
· contributes to organisation’s goals and addresses current or emerging challenges

The Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Scotland is modelled on a programme used in schools, universities and armed forces training facilities in the USA and is an approach to gender violence and bullying. It uses a ‘bystander’ approach, encouraging young people to take a stand against harassment, abuse and violence rather than just ignoring it. A ‘bystander’ is someone who sees a situation but might not know what to do, may think others will act or may simply be afraid to do something. The approach teaches an individual a safe and positive way to act to prevent or intervene where there is a risk of violence. It also gives participants roles they can use in preventing violence such as: stopping situations that could lead to violence before it happens; stepping in during an incident and speaking out against violent ideas and behaviours. It also gives an individualthe skills to be an effective and supportive ally.

Whilst the MVP project has its roots in America, the success of the approach has gathered interest in Scotland and the support of The Scottish Government and Violence Reduction Unit.In November 2011, St Stephen’s High School and School and Port Glasgow High School volunteered for the project after discussions between the Council and the Scottish Government. The schools were keen to participate in order to promote a positive culture change within their communities. Both schools have a record of innovation and the young people are very enthusiastic about the project as a way of developing skills that will promote their wellbeing as a citizen in society.

Currently, both schools are sharing a temporary campus andwill move to a purpose built shared campus in 2013,which will be the largest of its kind in Scotland. On moving to the new campus, both schools will retain their own identity but will share a sports block and pitches; music, assembly and performance arts; art, science and technology block; a central hub linking the component parts of the campus and an Enterprise Centre.

Whilst the schools have adopted individual approaches to the implementation of the MVP Programme there are five shared goals which focus on early intervention and preventing negative outcomes. These are to:

  • Raise awareness of participants about the level of men’s verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse of women
  • Challenge thinking by countering mainstream messages about gender, sex and violence
  • Open dialogue by creating a safe environment for men and women to share their opinions and experiences
  • Inspire leadership by empowering participants with concrete options to effect change in their respective communities
  • Highlight that there are a variety of options and pupils come up with their own solutions

The longer term goal is to effect a change in attitudes and cultural acceptance of issues relating to gender based violence in the belief that this will reduce or prevent violence longer term.

The MVP Programme directly contributes to the Council’s corporate strategic objective, ‘Educated, Informed, Responsible Citizens’ and also directly impacts on the Inverclyde Alliance’s Single Outcome Agreement strategic outcomes, namely:Communities are stronger, responsible and more able to identify, articulate and take action on their needs and aspirations to bring about an improvement in the quality of community life; A nurturing Inverclyde gives all our children and young people the best possible start in life and Inverclyde is a place where people want to live now whilst at the same time safeguarding the environment for future generations. The programme also dovetails into the Child Protection Committee’s focus on gender based violence training.

More recently, Inverclyde Council has adopted a corporate approach called ‘Nurturing Inverclyde’ which aims to make Inverclyde a place which nurtures all its citizens’. Within Inverclyde we aim to ensure that we are ‘Getting it Right for Every Child, Citizen and Community’ and the MVP Programme has a huge role in helping us deliver this ambitious agenda.

DELIVERING / · implemented in all relevant areas and across all the required stakeholders
· carried out in a structured and logical way , using robust and sustainable methods

In November 2011, 40 staff from Inverclyde participated in a two day intensive training that was delivered by American trainers associated with Jackson Katz MVP programme. This included a mix of teachers, youth workers and community members. The knowledge that has been gained from the training is then passed onto specially recruited ‘peer mentors’, young people in S6 who in turn pass on this knowledge to other younger pupils. Each student mentor is assigned a mentor from Community Learning and Development.

The MVP sessions are highly interactive discussions that use real life scenarios (not in the form of traditional lectures or presentations). The heart of the training consists of role plays intended to allow pupils to construct and practice viable options in response to incidents of harassment, abuse or violence before, during or after the fact.

A key teaching resource is the MVP Handbook which consists of a series of real life scenarios portraying actual and potential assaults against young women as well as male on male bullying. Most scenarios focus on empowering young people. When discussing the options for intervention, students learn that there is not just ‘one way’ to confront violence and that each individual can learn valuable skills to build their personal resolve and to act when faced with difficult or life threatening situations. Students aren’t advised as to the ‘best’ option - that choice is for each person based on a unique set of circumstances. In some situations, the bystander can be empowered to change the situation rather than condone it. This can be done through safer options to distract, disturb or divert the abuser e.g. witnessing harassment in a school corridor could be dealt with by making a loud noise, dropping something or shouting. The one option that is always discouraged however, is to do nothing.

Whilst both schools are working together on the programme, each school developed its own approach to reflect the fact that each school has its own strong identity.It also reflected the resources, needs and context of each school. The approach taken within Port Glasgow High School includes:

  • Bystander scenarios have been delivered to Community Sports Leaders during 2011/12.
  • Mentors have received training from CLD and staff
  • All S6 pupils have received one day training.
  • Delivery of the programme throughout the school has been planned through S1/2 Personal Social Education classes.
  • Pupils complete pre and post training surveys to provide a measure of effectiveness.

Within St. Stephen’s High School, a different approach has been taken:

  • Pupils that were interested in being a mentor applied and had to go through an interview process.
  • Mentors were trained at the Conforti Residential Leadership Course in June 2012, which was also attended by Chief Inspector Graham Goulden.
  • The school has established an S1 / S2 peer support programme. Mentors go through various scenarios with S1/S2 children and encourage their fellow students to give thought, explore and challenge various perceptions.

The final training session for mentors was a joint venture between both schools and Community Learning and Development on 17 September 2012. Following this training a programme of next steps has been established:

  • Student mentors will be assigned to S1/2 classes
  • All S1 / S2 pupils will complete a pre and post survey (Edinburgh University will analyse the results in order to establish baselines and measure the longer term changes that are anticipated over time).
  • MVP sessions are scheduled for delivery once every 4 weeks
  • Student mentors evaluate the effectiveness of the sessions
  • Twilight training sessions are scheduled throughout the year

The sustainability of the Programme is ensured through the training of new mentors by current S6 pupils. The initial resourcing of the programme to date has been met from existing budgets and the costs are expected to fall as more pupils are trained through a ‘train the trainer’ programme. In addition, the principles of the project have been embedded within Education’s Health and Wellbeing programme to ensure that it is sustainable.

INNOVATION + LEADING PRACTICE / ·Demonstrates leading practice, and is capable of replication elsewhere
·Achieves genuine innovation or new ways of working

Inverclyde Council has adopted a corporate approach called ‘Nurturing Inverclyde’ which aims to make Inverclyde a place which nurtures all its citizens. By instilling in our children that violenceand threatening behaviour is unacceptable and is everyone’s problem, the MVP Programme is making a huge contribution to helping the Council make a positive difference in its communities. The MVP programme also complements the work of national Anti-Violence Campaigns and the Strathclyde Police Violence Reduction Unit.

Children are increasingly being subjected to complex social dynamics whilst being bombarded by different messagesthrough social media. MVP gives them a third option with safe ways to intervene. The programme has also provided young people the ability to discuss these issues within a safe environment, to engage when they see an incident and create a positive climate within their school.

PGSC has adapted the programme to meet the needs of the campus and the wider community thereby ensuring that the programme has the maximum potential impact possible:

  • The campus has added to the scenarios contained within the original MVP Handbook e.g. to deliver the ‘No Knives Better Lives’ message the schools have developed a scenario around this issue.
  • It is intended to continue to develop the programme to include various scenarios that address issues identified as of particular importance locally such as anti-sectarianism, knife crime and bullying.
  • In raising awareness around abuse, students from the shared campus have taken the opportunity to raise awareness of issues such as alcohol and drugs and how this is often linked to gender violence. Alcohol abuse in particular is an issue that all partners are working to tackle and this Programme has an important role to play to tackling this issue amongst young people.
  • Pupils from St Stephen’s and Port Glasgow gave a presentation on the Programme to all Heads of Establishments from Inverclyde’s nursery, primary, secondary and special needs schools at a conference in September 2012. At the conference pupils also led individual workshops with Heads in which various scenarios were discussed, with the pupils advising on how they would deal with these.

RESULTS + IMPACT / · a convincing mix of customer and internal performance measures
·demonstrates howbetter outcomes are being achieved
· a full range of relevant results– either already achieved or with potential to deliverover time

Chief Inspector Graham Goulden, Strathclyde Police, has praised the work of the PGSC:

“Since initial training in 2012 both schools have started the process of engaging young mentors who continue to undergo training to assist them to deliver the MVP playbook to younger pupils. There is energy and commitment to deliver this project and I have no doubt that this will work will give a majority a voice in airing their positive attitudes to each other whilst at the same time pushing out the minority who accept and use violence in its widest forms. This project is about sustainability and with school planning into 2013 this will also assist in achieving this aim”.

Outcomes that have been achieved by Port Glasgow Shared Campus in 2012/13 include:

  • There is already a great deal of evidence the MVP programme has brought the S6 pupils of both schools together which has fostered a strong, constructive and positive relationship between the two schools.
  • Young people have fully embraced the project and are working closely with colleagues and fellow pupils.
  • 20 to 30 S6 mentors have been trained from each school in the Violence Prevention Programme.
  • Close partnership working has been established with Community Learning and Development through pupil mentoring
  • Joint training has been delivered to both schools to build a community of mentors
  • Pupil ownership of the programme has been ensured by delivery of the MVP course to pupils in S1 and S2 classes by mentors

In order to establish the success of the programme, an identical pre and post survey questionnaire which focuses on various situations been developed. Survey results are gathered by Edinburgh University to provide a measure of attitudinal change.

A great benefit of the model is the opportunity to work with young males on the issue of gender violence. However, rather than focusing on young men as actual or potential perpetrators, the focus is on them in their role as bystanders, which helps to reduce defensiveness. It also allows a key MVP concept to be emphasised: that when people don’t speak up or take action in the face of sexist or abusive behaviour that constitutes implicit consent to such behaviour.

Whilst at an early stage, the feedback from the senior pupils who have engaged in the Programme means that we fully expect the project have a positive impact not only within the schools but within the wider communities. The Port Glasgow Shared Campus serves all school children within Port Glasgow and Kilmacolm, therefore the potential for making a positive impact within the community is huge. Such is the success of the programme within PGSC that it is intended to rollout the programme across all schools in Inverclyde. The anticipated outcomes from the programme include:

  • Inspire student leadership by empowering students to effect change in their own communities
  • Raise awareness about male verbal, physical, emotional and sexual abuse
  • Reduce incidents of violence amongst all students within the shared campus and the wider community