Prevent – Radicalisation and Extremism
“Teenage years are often a time when young people search for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging, and look for adventure and excitement. This can mean that they are particularly vulnerable to extremist groups, who may claim to offer answers, as well as identity and a strong social network.
Schools already help safeguard pupils from the harms they may face such as drugs, gangs and sexual exploitation. Just like these harms, radicalisation can have a devastating effect on individuals, families and communities. Protecting pupils from the influence of extremist ideas is therefore an important part a school’s safeguarding role.” (Educate Against Hate website, April 2016)
Radicalisation and extremism is a process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social, or religious ideals and aspirations. There are extremist groups in a number of religions and social or political groups. Young people can be particularly vulnerable to the influence of these groups.
In March 2015 the Counter Terrorism and Security Act (2015) placed new statutory duties on schools to prevent young people being drawn into extremism. Ixworth Free School has ensured that all of its policies, procedures and practices are reviewed and updated to take account of the need to safeguard children and young people from radicalisation and extremism. In September all staff members were required to undertake/update their training around understanding radicalisation and extremism.
At Beccles Free School we study the main world religions and promote tolerance and understanding of world views in timetabled lessons in KS3 and KS4, through the PSE curriculum. When appropriate, we discuss current issues in the news that may prompt students to question human behaviour and their motives behind it. We encourage students to use critical thinking skills to identify bias and in doing so develop the skills of analysis and evaluation. Lessons look at ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in terms of religious beliefs and British Law, so it is made clear what is acceptable behaviour in this country.
Issues of concerning language or behaviours are raised with students as and when appropriate to ensure they are able to recognise why it might be a concern, or to allow them to ask someone for help. Students are encouraged to speak to a member of staff if they are worried someone might be at risk so that support can be offered to anyone affected by the issue.
If you have concerns about a student (even if they seem minor) please report them to the Designated Safeguarding Lead at the school. If you have any serious or immediate concerns regarding a child’s safety please contact the Police.
Click on the links below to view the specific school policies linked to radicalisation and extremism:
Educate Against Hate: http://educateagainsthate.com/parents/
Advice to Parents (by Tower Hamlets Borough Council) http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/Documents/Children-and-families-services/Child-protection/TH-Advice-to-Parents-WebVersion.pdf
Interfaith Explorers (educational resource that helps your child value and respect cultural diversity): http://interfaithexplorers.com/for-parents
Let’s Talk About It (An initiative designed to provide practical help and guidance in order to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism): http://www.ltai.info/