SCHOOLS have been at the heart of Streets Ahead since we launched our community campaign in 2011.

Young people across the city have helped to shape the way their neighbourhoods have changed and improved in a whole host of inventive ways.

As well as creative pupils, hardworking teachers and supportive staff, sometimes a school gets a helping hand from a different quarter.

At Rosshall Academy, PC Rachael Gallagher has been the campus police officer since January 2018.

It’s part of a Glasgow-wide Police Scotland initiative involving another four schools – Bellahouston Academy, Govan High, St Paul’s RC Secondary and Hillpark Secondary, which have already had a positive impact.

PC Gallagher has been the driving force behind a raft of community initiatives involving the pupils, from leaflet drops warning local residents about bogus callers, to huge community clean-ups, bake sales and regular litter-picks.

She also set up a summer club for children, targeting more vulnerable pupils to give them days out and meals throughout the long break, and joined pupils in cleaning up and planting flowers at nearby Crookston Station.

PC Gallagher also organises Rosshall Community Forum Meetings, inviting local councillors and community councillors, residents, Friends of Rosshall Park, the Pupil Parliament and shop owners.

She explains: “My work at Rosshall varies enormously and I try to get involved as much as I can.

“I work with pupils on various topics including drugs, hate crime, internet safety and knife crime.

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“Recently, I implemented the Mentors for Violence Prevention (MVP) programme and have trained around 20 senior pupils as mentors to the younger ones.”

PC Gallagher adds: “The community forum meetings, which run every six weeks, give residents, shop owners, councillors and the pupils the chance to discuss any matters which we can then go on to address - but it also allows the pupils to showcase examples of good work the school is doing.”

Around 80 pupils and staff took part in recent litter picks, tackling an issue which is a blight in many communities across the city and PC Gallagher also attends the school’s Parent Council meetings.

“It helps ensure I build strong relationships across the school community,” she says.

This year’s summer club, held in partnership with another local school, St Paul’s RC Secondary, was particularly successful.

“We gave 20 pupils the opportunity to take part in various activities such as bowling, rounders and a trip to the cinema,” adds PC Gallagher. “Thanks to our strong relationships with local area partnership groups, we were able to provide a healthy lunch each day as well.”

She says: “Getting involved in the community has been very important in my role.

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“The school is very much part of its community and having more than 1200 young people in the area each day brings with it a responsibility to ensure we are all working together.

“It means pupils understand the impact they can have in that community and most importantly, the difference they can make.

“For me, having a positive impact on young people is what is most important about my role at Rosshall.”

*Is your school Streets Ahead? Tell us what you are doing to have a positive impact in your community by emailing