Annual All-Wales School Liaison Core Programme Conference

In January, the annual All-Wales School Liaison Core Programme Conference was held in three venues across Wales; The Conference Centre in Treforest for South East Wales Glyndwr University in St Asaph for North Wales and The Halliwell Centre in Carmarthen for South West Wales. This year was the first time the yearly conference was open to primary school teachers with 180 teachers and teaching professionals attending in all.

In South East Wales conference was opened by the Deputy South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Sophie Howe who was invited along to give a speech to open the day to the teachers. In North Wales, the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Winston Roddick opened proceedings. While South West Wales conference saw the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Christopher Salmon introducing the day to the conference.

Speaking about opening the South East Wales conference, Deputy South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Sophie Howe said; “It is vitally important that we speak to as many people as possible about these issues and have a collective focus on educating young people about the things they need to be aware of or look out for.”

At each of the three conferences, the teachers spent the day learning about substance misuse, internet safety and domestic abuse from school community police officers and various agencies that were in attendance to fully inform the teachers about the risks children can face. The day allowed the teachers to ask questions about the subject areas and learn how they can educate their students on the subject areas.

Funded by the Welsh Government, the conference aims:

· To inform teachers of the current information and trends surrounding substance use and misuse, internet safety and safe relationships from a health, social and legal perspective.

· To share best practice approaches to developing pupil self-esteem and self-awareness in relation to substance misuse, internet safety and safe relationships.

· To provide an opportunity for networking, partnership working and information sharing.

Feedback from the first primary conference was positive with the teachers feeling that they had spent a valuable day learning about issues which could affect children.

The teacher’s comments from the three conferences included;

- A fantastic day, very enjoyable with excellent resources and advice that is relevant and up to date.

- I gained more information on new up to date drugs – especially the ‘legal highs’ area - something to discuss when I go back to school.

- Awesome! Plenty of resources were highlighted to use straight away in school. It broadened my knowledge immensely and I thought I was quite aware.

- I certainly gained a lot of knowledge and feel more informed overall.