To deter stabbings or gang violence, children are chaperoned as they travel to school.
Officials believe youth workers will be more trusted than the police by teens and so they have been appointed as youth workers.
Erdington Academy, Birmingham has launched the first scheme of its kind a few weeks back.
Chaperones will monitor students at 17 additional locations around the West Midlands, including Dudley and Sandwell.
If the West Midlands trial – called Step Together and funded by the Home Office at a cost of £1.2million – is successful, it is expected to be introduced nationally.
Keon Lincoln (15 years) was shot two times by a fourteen-year-old gunman. He then attacked Keon with large knives during a thirty-second attack on Birmingham in January.
After concern about violence against school-age adolescents, the introduction of chaperones was made in the region. This follows the killing of Keon Lincoln (15), by a gang.
In the US, chaperoning programs were established. They have helped reduce violent crime that affects Chicago schools.
Simon Foster (West Midlands Police and Crime commissioner) said that the youth violence in the region was ‘far to high.
The Sunday Times quoted him as saying: “It’s important that our youth feel secure not only while they’re at school but also when travelling there and back.”
Secondary school pupils helped identify 18 routes from and to West Midlands schools where chaperoning is possible.
These youth workers won’t escort the pupils on a routine basis but will instead aim to ‘deescalate potential violence’ by standing at places where fights might start such as near playgrounds or skate parks.
If necessary, they will accompany the children during certain parts of their travels.
Simon Mallett is the head teacher at Erdington Academy. He stated: “We are aware that violence and intimidation can occur, but only in rare instances, so it’s a positive thing to take proactive steps to stop this from ever happening.”
Keon, a young man from Birmingham was shot and killed in front of his Birmingham home. This was at a time that schools had largely moved to online lessons.
Yussuf Musapha was just 14 years old at January’s attack. He was convicted and sentenced to a minimum 16 year term.
In the New Year, chaperones will also monitor pupils at another 17 schools identified by police around the West Midlands including Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
A total of four teenagers were also found guilty of murder, one for manslaughter, and sentenced to lengthy jail terms.
Ava White (12 years old), was attacked during Liverpool’s Christmas lights switch off last month. Her murder was committed by a 14-year old boy who can’t be identified for legal reasons.
In London alone, 28 teenage victims have been killed this year. Fares Maatou was 14, who was attacked in Canning Town in East London wearing his school uniform. Before his attackers fled with his scooter, his killers may have stolen his escooter. The murder of Fares Maatou was committed against a fourteen-year-old boy.
Chicago’s Safe Passage program – which inspired Step Together – was established after Derrion Albert (16) was attacked to death on his way back from school.
After school closings, the scheme was expanded in 2013. Students had to cross gang lines to get to classes.
Now there are groups of community workers scattered throughout the city at each dawn and end of school days.
University of Illinois research shows violence has dropped by 14.5% on streets that are covered by Safe Passage.
There was also no evidence that the violence had been displaced from nearby streets.
Jon Yates is the director of Youth Endowment Fund. This charity will assess the West Midlands program.
The only thing we do know for sure is how it will impact the local community. If it does, this could help save many lives.
Chris McGovern is a former headteacher from Downing Street and an education advisor to the Campaign for Real Education.
He added, “We expect too much from social worker and chaperones.” It is unrealistic to expect social workers and schools to be police.
“The police must have all the resources necessary to keep streets safe. To regain control over the streets, we need more officers on patrol. This is about preserving a living society.