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Partnerships in practice

This page describes the specific planning and processes by which schools and Police partner together, and describes some sample interventions and narratives.  

For a wider overview of why and how schools partner with Police, and the roles of various police officers involved with schools, go to the Police-schools partnerships page.


Police-School Partnership Model

The Police-School Partnership Model describes a four stage process for partnering effectively with schools.

Each stage of the model aligns to a respective phases of the SARA (Scan, Analyse, Respond, Assess) problem-solving process.

Under this model, Police and the school:

  1. scan by building a relationship and sharing information with each other
  2. analyse how to achieve their aligned goals
  3. respond through one or more of a range of prevention activities
  4. assess the achievement of the goals.  

See the following sections for a more detailed explanation of each stage.


1. Relationship building and information sharing

Police-School Partnership Model with Stage One highlighted.

Building relationships and sharing information are the basis for prevention activities.

Building relationships

To facilitate partnerships between Police and schools:

  • Police have a dedicated liaison person for each school (Lead Police Contact)
  • each school has a dedicated liaison person with Police (Lead School Contact).

Having a specific person in Police that the school can contact will help build trust and confidence, so that they are comfortable to seek pro-active advice.

Effective Police-school partnerships occur at multiple levels, such as:

  • Youth Services staff partner with individual students and their family/whānau
  • School Community Officers partner with individual classes
  • Lead Police Contacts and/or the School Community Officers partner with individual schools
  • Area Youth and Community Supervisors partner with school clusters or Communities of Learning
  • District Youth and Community Managers and/or Area Prevention Managers partner with regional Ministry of Education staff (e.g. to discuss children and young people disengaged from education)
  • District Prevention Managers partner with the Regional Directors of Education.

Sharing information

To facilitate sharing information between Police and schools, they both agree that each organisation can help the other to achieve their goals, e.g. through a partnership agreement:

Partnership agreement

This template can be used for a partnership agreement between Police and the school community that they will partner together in prevention and response.

Police share information about crime, victimisation and harm data, and schools share information about student behaviour concerns, e.g. through a school profile:

School profile

This selection of templates is used to develop the school profile of issues.

As a result, Police and the school can jointly agree on what their partnership is trying to achieve, which will provide focus and purpose to the partnership.

Police and schools should be clear on what they are trying to achieve in relation to their shared goals. They should agree on the desired outcomes, and the measures of success. They should gather preliminary data to identify problems related to achieving their shared goals.

By agreement, some schools may not need to progress beyond this stage of the partnership, for example, if the identified problems are of low priority or are already being managed effectively by the school through other means. Alternatively, a partnership may focus on maintaining an existing safe environment to prevent problems from occurring.


2. Analysis of shared goals

Police-School Partnership Model with Stage Two highlighted.

During the previous stage, Police and school will have gathered preliminary data regarding their shared goals. In this stage they drill down to be even more specific about problems, by testing theories and analysing data to determine why they occur.

The analysis should define and lead to a better understanding of how to achieve the goals set in the previous stage, e.g. through a SARA (Scan, Analyse, Respond, Assess) problem-solving plan:

SARA plan

This template is for a SARA (Scan, Analyse, Respond, Assess) problem-solving plan.

  • Template: SARA plan (DOC, ???KB) [coming soon]

There may be other information that is required to gain better understanding of what is required to achieve the shared goals or to address problems. This information might come from the Police, from the school, or from other sources.

There may be examples of how a specific problem has been dealt with elsewhere, for example through the knowledge bank of school-wide intervention narratives on the Police’s School Portal, each describing how an intervention was implemented, and the impact it had. 

The Police also have tools that may provide an evidence base for the effectiveness of a particular response to deal with an issue.


3. Response

Police-School Partnership Model with Stage Three highlighted.

The following three steps can be used to undertake a response.


Step 1:  Outline the response aims:

Refer back to the measures of success and the agreed outcomes from Stage 1 of the Police-School Partnership Model.

Discuss the analysis of the problems from Stage 2.

Drill down to be more specific about how you will measure your success, using SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic  and time-bound). 


Step 2: Select the response(s):

Consider the different responses, and have a rationale for choosing one or more, i.e. whether it has been shown to work nationally/ internationally, the timeframes and resourcing required, buy-in of all stakeholders, clear logic of how it will affect the problem.
The range of responses could include prevention activities such as:
  • safety education:

- training School Traffic Safety Teams

- programme approach

- inquiry approach


Step 3:  Implement the response(s):

Break the response(s) into steps (if appropriate), record timeframes and resources required, and nominate the lead, e.g. through an annual partnership plan:

Annual partnership plan

This template is for an annual partnership plan for Police and the school to agree on prevention activities.


4. Achievement of goals

Police-School Partnership Model with Stage Four highlighted.

Assessment is about identifying whether the shared goals have been achieved or not, and provides learning opportunities for continuous improvement.

By having SMART goals, Police and the school can assess whether the goals of their partnership have been achieved or not achieved.

Whether the goals were achieved or not, it is important to reflect on the practice of the partnership. Reflective practice is about learning from experience by thinking what happened, why it happened, and what you would do differently as a result.

Identifying the ‘next steps’ ensures continuous improvement. Next steps may involve modifying the goals and/or changing the actions towards achieving the goal.

Acknowledging and celebrating the achievement of a Police-school goal acknowledges and recognises the contribution of the many individuals and organisations who contributed to that goal.

Writing a narrative (or case study) at the conclusion of an intervention encourages the school and Police to reflect on their practice, and to share the lessons they have learned with other schools and Police:

School-wide intervention narrative

This template is used to write a narrative on completion of a school-wide intervention, to be submitted to