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Salford school is first ambassador to tackle child sex exploitation

Albion Academy in Salford has become the first school in Greater Manchester to be awarded CSE Ambassador status for their commitment to tackling child sexual exploitation.

Pupils and teachers from the Academy worked together to produce a three-minute video for the #itsnotokay campaign, looking at the pressures on teenagers today both in and out of relationships.

It sees them stand in front of camera holding a series of tough messages, including “#itsnotokay for someone to threaten to end your relationship if you don’t have sex,” and “#itsnotokay for someone to give you gifts or money in return for sexual acts.”

Project leader Deana Owen-Johnson who is also Vice Principal at The Albion Academy, said: “The students felt this was a vital message that people across Salford and beyond, young and old, needed to hear.

“Recent high profile cases in Rochdale and Oldham have highlighted the need for all sectors of society to be vigilant and aware of warning signs such as increased substance misuse, withdrawn or anxious behaviour or self-harming.

The new CSE Ambassador initiative, launched today, Monday 23 March awards individual schools for their contribution to CSE awareness.

The next stage will see Project Phoenix work closely with Albion Academy and other schools across the region to develop a substantial pupil education and peer-mentoring programme.

This programme will eventually provide formal accreditation that pupils can reference on their CVs and Records of Achievement.

Damian Dallimore, Project Phoenix Manager said: “Our CSE Ambassadors programme is one of the first of its kind in the UK and I’d like to congratulate Albion Academy for leading the way with their remarkable work.

“There are many schools across Greater Manchester that are already having the conversation about CSE with their pupils and doing fantastic work to raise awareness and we wanted to acknowledge this.”

Albion Academy’s Principal Jenny Langley said: “Often when there are serious issues affecting young people it is too easy to overlook their own role and voice in addressing them.

“Our students made the film because they felt it was important to speak out and raise awareness of the dangers of CSE among young people, using a method that can be easily shared on social media.”

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jim Battle added: “The pupils at Albion Academy have made a brilliant video that capitalises on the power of peer-to-peer communication, and they thoroughly deserve our very first CSE Ambassador Accolade. I am confident this scheme will go from strength-to-strength throughout Greater Manchester.”

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