Countering Policing in Education

7 September 2021


Venue: Conway Hall: Bertrand Russell Room

Organiser: Katie Stone

Image produced by NUS Students Not Suspects campaign 2015.

We are a network of people committed to countering the spread of policing practices in education from Prevent to the surveillance of migrant students, cops on campus to the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which extends police powers and deputises all of us in the criminalisation of our students. We invite you to join us in building on the ground resistance to these insidious practices. We ask: How can we, in our classrooms, in administration, in our pastoral roles, stand against policing in education?

In this session we will explore how different systems of policing penetrate and permeate the educational environment in both overt and covert forms, and how this undermines the learning process.

The first part of this session will be an exercise in how to navigate difficult discussions about policing in education: what it looks like, why it should be opposed, and how we can resist it.

This will involve role playing to practice these conversations and unpacking ‘common sense’ assumptions about the inevitability of policing in schools and unis. We will explore what to say to your colleagues when they argue that Prevent helps counter the spread of far right violence, or that students should be surveilled for their own protection.

We will then build on these conversations to produce visual resources together, designed to capture the absurdity of policing practices in education, and the reality of how they hinder learning. We hope that these resources will act as the basis of posters, stickers, zines which could be distributed around campuses, signalling to students that we oppose their criminalisation and acting as points of reference to support us in having our difficult conversations with apathetic or ambivalent colleagues.

No prior knowledge or artistic skills required. All are welcome.