HUNDREDS of Saddleworth School pupils have been urged to think before they act to avoid making life-changing mistakes.
The message of ‘actions have consequences’ was drummed into the youngsters during two days of engagement with police and prison staff.
Talking to Year 7 (11-12-year-olds) and Year 8 (12-13) children across a range of subjects, from alcohol and drug abuse to knife crime and anti-social behaviour, was Paul McGovern MBE from HMP Manchester.
“It only takes 20 seconds to get a criminal record,” he told his captivated audience during a series of fun and serious sessions.
“Teachers are more qualified than we are to be getting these messages across.
“But we come in wearing a few uniforms and hopefully this is something the children will remember for the rest of their lives.”
Assistant Head, Darren Casey, told the Independent: “The feedback from the kids has been unbelievable. They were just buzzing and talking about what they had seen and heard.”
GMP officers, Sergeant Neil Barker and PC Lee Cullen, both familiar figures in Saddleworth, also attended the sessions to provide a local input.
Headmaster Matthew Milburn, addressing the youngsters, said: “Your life could turn on its head if you did some of the things you were warned about and told about during these sessions.
“It has been a fantastic process of education for you. So, I want to thank Paul McGovern and the team for helping us with this work.”
Mr Milburn presented Mr McGovern with a certificate of recognition for his safeguarding work with children and young people.