Mark Bowles is the director of The Training Effect. He has worked extensively in the public sector as a practitioner, manager and commissioner. Mark’s work focuses on drugs, alcohol, risk-taking behaviour, families with complex needs, emotional health and wellbeing.
The Training Effect’s Risk-Avert programme, developed in partnership with Essex County Council, can identify those young people who are more likely to take negative risks in later life. The programme delivers cognitive behaviour interventions to help them avoid or manage those risks and is being rolled out to local authorities, academies and independent schools across the UK.
Teenage romantic relationships can often be short-lived but powerful, with adolescents experiencing high-intensity feelings and emotions. Sometimes, a young person’s lack of experience in adult relationships can result in abusive behaviour being overlooked or ignored should it occur.
Over the past few years public knowledge of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) has increased, not least due to several high profile cases in Oxford, Rotherham and Bradford. In many ways, these high-profile cases are just the tip of the iceberg, as many children and young people are not the victims of organised groups of adults, but by individuals whom they know and trust.
It is generally safe to assume that in the UK drug and alcohol education is almost universally delivered within secondary schools. What is not universal however is the amount of curriculum time afforded to the subject within individual schools, who actually facilitate these sessions and what they ultimately deliver.
Teaching young people about risk taking and their wellbeing is just as critical as studying. How can we encourage pupils and students to become more aware of the risks they are likely to face as part of growing up and help them to make positive decisions?