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Central Monitoring and Evaluation of the Safer School Partnerships Programme

Background

The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB) and the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) commissioned the Policy Research Bureau (PRB) to undertake a one year research study on the impact and effectiveness of the government's 'police in schools' scheme.

In 2002 the Prime Minister's Street Crime Action Team proposed a pilot initiative to help reduce crime and antisocial behaviour in and around schools. This initiative - the Safer School Partnerships Programme (SSP) - entailed the introduction of up to 100 police officers to be based in schools in 34 Local Education Authorities (LEAs) deemed to be facing the 'toughest challenges'. These LEAs fell within ten police 'crime hot-spot' areas that were identified as having a high incidence of youth offending, truancy and antisocial behaviour. The SSP scheme involved joint working between schools, police and LEAs to help tackle truancy, antisocial behaviour and social exclusion more effectively, both in the school and in its wider community.

What did the research involve?

The evaluation used both quantitative and qualitative methods. We explored the process of setting up and implementing SSP in a sample of around 14 schools across the country. We also measured the impact of the programme, and assessed the inputs into the projects and their associated costs. The ultimate aim of the research was to make recommendations for any future replication of SSP and to draw out key messages for policy and practice.

First, we collected baseline data from participating agencies and schools to help describe and map the initial process and implementation issues for SSP.

Second, we collected outcome data on the impact and effectiveness of SSP. This included a 'before' and 'after' survey of SSP staff and young people in schools to measure changing behaviours, attitudes and experiences as the initiative progressed. We also collected qualitative data by group discussions with a sample of representatives from agencies involved in delivering SSP, and with young people in participating schools.

Timescale

The Safer School Partnerships Programme central monitoring and evaluation ran from July 2002 to December 2003. The first wave of data collection started in September 2002 with the collection of baseline data. The second wave of data collection began in April 2003 with the collection of outcome data.

Final Product of the research

A final report was submitted to the YJB/DfES in December 2003. PRB is committed to targeted dissemination of our work, in order to contribute to policy debates and to the development of good practice. The results of the research will be distilled into summaries of key findings appropriate to practitioners, policy and researcher audiences, and we hope that they are going to be widely available

Bhabra S, Hill E and Ghate D (2004) Safer School Partnerships: National Evaluation of the Safer School Partnerships Programme. London: Youth Justice Board for England and Wales/DfES.

Available here: http://www.yjb.gov.uk/Publications/Scripts/prodView.asp?idProduct=200&eP=

See Publications for Appendices and further details.

Last updated December 2004