PERSONAL SAFETY for teenagers will get a higher profile in many authorities next session, with the launch this month of Keeping Myself Safe, an online interactive resource for secondary PSHE.
Following the primary resource of the same name, developed by Edinburgh-based Learning Curve Software and launched last year in West Lothian, the secondary one covers many of the same issues such as bullying and abuse, but in a style more relevant to teenagers.
"There were a few issues we wanted to cover, but decided to keep it to 10,"
explains Alan Wait, an ex-teacher and now managing director of Learning Curve. "The resource has been developed with help from different agencies across Edinburgh, including the Lothian and Borders Police."
The 10 stories, to be available free in the participating authorities on CD and online, are presented in a graphic novel format and were filmed at schools across the capital. Topics are safety at parties and nights out, peer pressure and the use of drugs, using technology, domestic violence, teenage depression and suicide, knife crime, grooming, internet safety, sexual abuse and sexual assault.
"They are powerful stories and reflect the dangers facing our young people today. But they are presented in an accessible fashion, with discussion topics for the teacher and class to reflect on," said Mr Wait.
"There are messages on how to deal with situations, such as having a code word to use when phoning home to indicate there is a problem. There are also names of organisations that offer advice and helpline numbers."