Youthact! Project in
Waltham Forest

Tom Hood School

Hoods Up

Students and their teachers from Tom Hood School in Waltham Forest chose to focus their campaign on improving the reputation of their school in the local community

Project started: May 2008

Tom Hood School in Waltham Forest attended a Youth Act residential and followed eight training sessions in May 2008. Outside of lessons, in the first few sessions the group almost immediately identified their biggest issue was the reputation of their school and its relationship with the local community.

Further developing their campaign they recognised how their schools reputation was a huge issue, which not affected their schools self esteem, but created challenges with their relationships with the police, local community and in turn the media. Not only did the group learn how to tackle issues and plan their own campaign, but they also had to co-ordinate their school and personal lives, recognising that this campaign would need to be addressed in all areas of their life.

The group decided upon really strengthening their school internally and that in believing in themselves, the local community, police and media would follow. The group have already spoken to senior staff who have backed them organising a school talent show to highlight whats good about Tom Hood.

Since their initial training with Youth Act , Hoods Up have begun to take steps towards making real change by conducting a survey in their school. It was very well received and has opened up a range of recommendations including the way pupils are be supported to produce leaflets/newsletters with positive information and the achievements of pupils.

The survey found that 50% of students felt that it was pupils who were most able to improve the school's reputation, as opposed to parents or teachers. The students who took the survey also felt that the school should become more pro-active within the local community, reaching out to residents but also encouraging parents to visit the school . This is one of their next steps to come out of the survey so watch this space to see how it goes!

Youth Act training and campaigns are running throughout London. A national Youth Act Train the Trainers programme is also available. Please contact the Youth Act team for more information 020 7566 5033 or email Ade Sofola (

This project is based on the internationally successful Youth Act! programme of street law begun by Street Law Inc in the United States (, which has campaigned to increase provision for homeless people, challenge discrimination and reduce gun crime.

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