Page last updated at 23:01 GMT, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 00:01 UK

'Hoodies down' call for colleges

By Sean Coughlan
BBC News education reporter

Teenage hoodies
Colleges are to be given advice on keeping students safe

Further education colleges are to be given guidance on making students safer - including knife "arches" and introducing a "hoodies down" rule.

Higher Education Minister David Lammy is set to publish guidance for colleges to help avoid gang and knife crime.

It will also include advice such as recruiting security staff for colleges from within the local community.

It follows concern from colleges that they need to remain safe from teenage violence.

The Safe Colleges Safe Communities guidance will address the "deep concern" felt by colleges over the threat of knife crime.


The guidance follows research into nine colleges which found worries from some students that local gang rivalries or street crime could spill into college buildings.

In the area served by the College of North East London, a case study says: "More young people are carrying weapons, especially knives. Guns are less common but learners say that they are easily available in the community."

Although colleges are often safer for teenagers than the surrounding streets, this guidance sets out methods "that colleges have used when tackling and preventing problems relating to guns, gangs and knives".

This includes random ID checks, metal detector wands, random testing, alarms for staff, knife arches and policies of not allowing hoods to be worn up.

It also suggests liaising with security staff at other local places such as shopping centres for "informal intelligence".

It can also mean a visible police presence in college buildings or calling the police to defuse incidents.

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