SCHOOLCHILDREN will be taught about the modern dangers of adolescence including knife crime and drug abuse.

A well as the stress that comes with exams, puberty and fledgling friendships, secondary school pupils are also vulnerable to a host of other trials.

As an increasing number of schoolchildren are targeted by gangs, or need help for mental health problems, a new programme is being rolled out in Oxfordshire secondary schools to tackle some of those risks.

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Award-winning provider The Training Effect (TTE) has been commissioned and funded by Oxfordshire County Council Public Health to deliver the new three-year scheme, called The Safety Effect.

Secondary schools across the county are being encouraged to sign up to a free support service, teaching Key Stage 3 students core skills about personal safety, health and early intervention techniques.

It will focus on teaching 'protective behaviours', an approach which is said to increase personal safety through interactive activities.

Its aim is to equip young people with the necessary skills they will need to make informed decisions, as they navigate the tricky adolescent years.

Mark Bowles, director of TTE, said: "At its core is the protective behaviours approach, a focus on children’s right to feel safe and to be able to ask for help from adults.

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"The sessions will cover areas such as healthy relationships, consent, gender stereotyping, managing risk, knife crime, alcohol and drug abuse – all with the common aim of developing skills in young people to make informed choices throughout life.

"Importantly, the new scheme will also support personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, meaning schools that sign up will be ready and compliant for the introduction of statutory PSHE which comes into force in September 2020."

TTE has previously worked with all secondary schools in to deliver its ‘In-Formed’ sessions, which have reached more than 35,000 young people since 2013.

Sam Casey-Rerhaye, commissioning officer at the county council, said: "We are very pleased to be continuing our positive working relationship with The Training Effect over the next three years.

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"This new service has been commissioned by us to bring consistency of message across the county and champion the protective behaviours approach to preventative education.

"All young people have the right to feel safe and this new service will promote the skills and values which can make this a reality."

The programme is offered to all Oxfordshire pupils in secondary education in Years 7-9 (ages 11-14).

It is also available to pupils in non-mainstream schools, such as special schools.

The initial roll-out of the programme started last month, with the county-wide uptake starting in September 2019.

Any schools wishing to sign up to the scheme are encouraged to get in touch with TTE by calling 01233 503795 or emailing