Islington Summer University

The Summer University in Islington is one of a growing number of summer schools being held across London to create opportunities for London’s young people.

Ruth Hayes, Law Centre Director said,

It is great to see young people enrolling on these courses. There seems to be a growing awareness among young people in the borough of the need to know their rights, especially with the increase in stop and search. It is also encouraging to know that many youngsters are considering a career in the law. This introduction to the law has proved very popular.

Over the school holidays, a range of aspiration-raising classes and activities are organised to help raise achievement and increase educational opportunities. The programme includes ‘Know your legal rights!’ and ‘Introduction to Law’ run by Islington Law Centre.

The courses are designed for young people aged between 14 and 19 years. The ‘Know your legal rights!’ course provides an introduction to the criminal justice system, domestic violence, health care, housing, and human rights. Participants look at statute and case law and get a chance to get ‘really involved in the issues with fun and interesting group work and games.’

‘Introduction to Law’ is a two day course to give young people an introduction to what being a lawyer is all about. It includes a visit to a court and talking to local lawyers including some of the lawyers employed at the local Law Centre.

This is an example of a very effective partnership between the council who runs the Summer School along with Summer Uni London and the Law Centre. It provides young people with the knowledge they need about how the law is relevant to them in their everyday lives giving confidence and with a certificate at the end, a real sense of achievement.

The spreading of legal knowledge and skills extends beyond the young people taking part. The information gained is shared with family and friends. This cascading of information about the law and about where to get to get help is an important way of raising awareness and legal capability in deprived neighbourhoods.

Islington Law Centre has a record of innovative work in the community including working with prisoners at Holloway Prison and Islington Schools Advice Project which provided support to vulnerable parents and had a significant impact on schools and attendance rates. Education about the law and support was provided to Home School Liaison workers. Similarly, support is shortly going to be given the youth workers in Haringey on the law relating to Stop and Search.

More about Islington Law Centre


Published: 21 July 2009

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