Axminster headteacher welcomes new government strategy

PUBLISHED: 17:46 01 December 2009 | UPDATED: 00:38 16 June 2010

Martin Smith, Headteacher,  Axe Valley Community College

Martin Smith, Headteacher, Axe Valley Community College

THE headteacher of Axe Valley Community College has welcomed a government strategy to teach that domestic violence is unacceptable.

THE headteacher of Axe Valley Community College has welcomed a government strategy to teach that domestic violence is unacceptable.

Martin Smith said the college had a responsibility to look out for the welfare of children, despite criticism over schools getting involved in family matters.

Under government plans, from 2011, every school pupil in England will be taught how to prevent violent relationships.

He said: "Domestic violence is a serious issue. Where children are exposed to it, it has a huge impact on their well being and ability to develop and progress. I think schools do have a responsibility to contribute to developing awareness.

"I don't think schools have sole responsibility for addressing the issue, but a part to play as part of a wider campaign."

He said the school is already addressing such issues, and has a designated domestic abuse professional, to recognise and support children affected by abuse in the home.

From 2011, lessons in gender equality and preventing violence in relationships will be compulsory in the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education curriculum.

Critics believe the government is interfering in how parents bring up their children.

The Parents Outloud campaign group say schools should focus on teaching children to read and write.

AVCC currently looks at healthy relationships as part of its PSHE.

Mr Smith said: "It examines what a healthy relationship should look like so that people can recognise positive features and recognise when things aren't right.


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