Salford & Wigan BSF Phase 2, UK

Social responsibility.

Moorside High School in Salford is one of four schools in the Salford and Wigan Building Schools for the Future Phase 2 project. HICL acquired an 80% stake in the PPP project in 2015.

In 2017, InfraRed’s asset management team, through the board of the PPP project company, facilitated an initiative to raise awareness within the student body of the effect of alcohol and drug abuse. 12 students, over the course of two intensive weeks, created two videos as an extra­curricular activity under the guidance of their drama teacher. The videos can be viewed using the links on the right.

The Investment Adviser interviewed the headteacher of the school, Nigel Ogden, to understand more about the impact of the initiative. He noted that the impact went beyond raising awareness of the detrimental impact alcohol and drugs can have, saying some of the pupils are very much into their drama...[one boy] went on to do a marvellous piece heading up our school production of Elf. For him it was a great thing to do and he was able to draw on this project when he did his drama GCSE, because it gave him an insight as to how using a camera works [as an artistic medium] in comparison to the stage.”

He went on to say, “of those 12 [students who participated], one might take it a little bit further, in whatever fashion that might be. Maybe into the media because that was the form of the output. But it might be that they get so hooked up on the fact that drugs are having a problem that they want to go and research that or think how can I be a drugs counsellor?’ We don’t know at the moment.”

When asked whether he would recommend the programme to other head teachers, Nigel said “As long as the timescales were going to work so that you can put it into your curriculum or extra-curricular projects, I would say that the children themselves can get a great deal out of what you are suggesting. Especially if we have supportive partners on board.”

In relation to the backing received from the Investment Adviser’s asset manager, Nigel said “I think he’s been the driving force”, and the project’s management services provider, WSP, “made sure it kept going.”

Thinking about future opportunities, Nigel said “We have PSHE [personal, social and health education programme] and they will need speakers. We are always looking for people who can do mock interviews. We are looking for people who can come in and do talks just prior to the children choosing their option...And every school would jump at the opportunity.” Plans to build on this initial success are being developed by the board of the PPP project company with Moorside High School and other schools in the project.