Preventing Radicalisation and Extremism
What is the Prevent strategy?
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes. The Prevent strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including the extreme right wing, violent Islamist groups and other causes.
How does the Prevent strategy apply to schools?
All schools (as well as other organisations) have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism.
This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views in the same way we protect them from drugs or gang violence. Importantly, we provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.
What does this mean in practice?
Many of the things we already do in school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy. These include:
- exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity
- challenging prejudices and racist comments
- developing critical thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity
- promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, as well as British values such as democracy which are part of our core values.
- We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils.
Isn’t my child too young to learn about extremism?
The Prevent strategy is not just about discussing extremism itself, which may not be appropriate for younger children. It is also about teaching children values such as tolerance and mutual respect. We will make sure any discussions are suitable for the age and maturity of the children involved.
Is extremism really a risk in our area?
Extremism can take many forms, including political, religious and misogynistic extremism. Some of these may be a bigger threat in our area than others. We will give children the skills to protect them from any extremist views they may encounter, now or later in their lives.
What we will do
If school staff have a concern about a pupil, they will follow the school's normal safeguarding procedure including a discussion with the designated safeguarding person and where deemed necessary, the Front Door who will consider a possible referral to the Channel Programme through the local Channel arrangements (programme to provide support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism).
Other agencies who will support a school's concerns include the Police (999 or 101, non-emergency number) and the DfE has a dedicated helpline on 020 7340 7264.