Schools Peace & Justice Forum Meeting 13 December 2017
Minutes SPJF Meeting 13-12-17
Centre for Trust Peace & Social Relations
Vitor introduced himself. He is a Masters graduate in Politics and International Studies from Coventry University.
Report on Launch of Resources Database
Members of the SPJF who were able to attend
Mehru Fitter, Carol Rank, Neslihan Ozfaris, Mig Kerr.
Apologies had been received from Balbir Sohal and Emma Griffiths.
Teachers who attended
Revd Sacha Slavic
Coventry Cathedral and Bablake School
Blue Coat School CoE. Coventry.
Assistant Principal Student Experience
Teachers who were unable to attend
Finham Park School
Cardinal Newman Catholic School
Five of these attended including Myra Soomro who is managing the Ambassador Project.
Summary of Event
Philip reported on the launch of the database on November 9.
He noted that the Peace Song Project had evolved time into the Ambassador Project.
He said he gave a presentation of the database, the SACRE syllabus and the UNA Ambassador project.
Then there was then a discussion with teachers.
A detailed report of this discussion was created soon after the event and circulated to members.
Report of Feedback from teachers
There was no enthusiasm
UNA Ambassadors Project
Philip reported on the 2 workshops that have been developed and asked for people to give feedback. The files are stored in a Box cloud folder.
Carol would like access to the Box folder and also receive copies by email.
Vitor said he had problems accessing the Box folder.
Carol said that a child soldier had spoken at the Rising Festival.
There is a video of the talk at
So far some Ambassadors have visited
Finham Park School
Rhys will contact Myra when the management of Cardinal Newman have decided on what they want to do.
Vitor and Carol want access to the workshop lesson plans and videos.
Assuming the schools like the work of the Ambassadors there are several ideas of follow-up work. These include:
Starting a UNA Club within the school.
Training 6th formers to present the workshops to year 7 children.
Asking Schools for Support with Ambassador Transport
Philip suggested we might ask schools to help pay for the transport costs of Ambassadors. At present the United Nations Association is paying for everything.
The above suggestion raised questions about the financial status of the SPJF and its status as a group. Philip said that at present it had no official status. It could open a bank account if it had a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer and a statement of
Rhys said that all communications with teachers need to carry the logos of our supporters.
Future Plans for SPJF
PB will contact Emma and find out what is happening with the Inspire Programme.
He will also contact Amanda Faul who is apparently coordinating the programme on behalf of the Oasis Foundation. [Note added after meeting: Philip did this but the email was returned as not recognised.]
We could offer Certificates for Teachers who come on a training course such as a workshop for teachers. This would be easiest to recruit for if run in the summer term when pressure on teachers is least.
Restorative Justice / Conflict Resolution / Peer Mediation
Carol described how these ideas could be used within schools to address issues such as bullying. The key is not to look for blame but to identify what happened and explore how to restore good relationships between people.
She mentioned Belinda Hopkins.
Research after the meeting has identified more resources and these have been added to the pages:
Teachers and children need training
This is one possible subject for a workshop or training course, as mentioned above.
Carol has previously run a summer school in conflict resolution.
It is suggested that we create a working group to develop something to present to teachers in the summer term.
All interested please contact Philip.
Normandy Day UK
Carol and Balbir are working to develop resources for this.
[More detail needed please]
Lord Mayor’s Peace Committee
PB will approach the Lord Mayor’s Committee and invite them to offer their support.
SPJF could create a logo for them and add to our communications.
Mehru reported that Positive Images will run from Saturday 16 June to 7 July. The start date was chosen to avoid Ramadan.
His work was praised. Mehru said he had addressed Coventry Multi-Faith Forum about the conflict in Syria.
He used to be an intern within the Reconciliation Ministry in Coventry Cathedral and is now running the Fresh Start programme within the Diocese of Coventry. Fresh Start seeks to enable people from all cultures to begin anew here, and work collaboratively with churches and other organisations – including YWAM, Carriers of Hope, and the Refugee and Migrant Centre – to facilitate their integration into society.
Building Schools for Girls in Southern Sudan
Mehru mentioned Friends of Ibba Girls School. It is a charitable company established in the UK. It is raising funds for the building of a girls’ school in South Sudan.
More information: www.ibbagirlsschool.org
Vitor has sociology books he is happy to donate for sale to raise money for the SPJF.
Rhys suggested it would be a good idea to have a booklet similar to the Peace Trail visiting diverse communities in Coventry, for example Polish, Irish and all the others.
City of Culture
Now that Coventry has won the bid to become City of Culture 2017, SPJF should register with them to let them know what we are doing.
17:00, Wed 7 March, Centre for Trust Peace & Social Relations.
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