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Protecting children from radicalisation and extremism

General safeguarding principles apply to keeping children safe from radicalisation. 

  • Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism. We recognise that there is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. 
  • Extremism is defined by the Government as ‘vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs’. The Government also include in their definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.  

From 1 July 2015 all schools and childcare providers are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.  This duty is known as the Prevent duty.  The requirements on schools and childcare providers fall under four general themes:

  • Risk assessment – the Local Authority and Police have provided contextual information relating to our area and the risk of children being drawn into terrorism has been assessed as low
  • Working in partnership – we work closely with outside agencies, the Police, parents/carers and families so that we can effectively share information and also signpost families to further sources of information if they have concerns about family members.
  • Staff training – our Headteacher and Child Protection Officer have received prevent awareness training and are able to provide advice and support to all members of staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation.
  • IT policies – we have a robust internet filtering system and ‘Securus’ which monitors all electronic devices owned by the school and has been updated to monitor references to terrorism and extremism.  Internet safety is covered in the computing curriculum, PSHE and SRE.

We promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of children and, within this, fundamental British values and we build children’s resilience to radicalisation by providing a safe environment for discussion, opportunities for pupils to participate in decision making and democracy and through our PSHE and citizenship curriculum.

As with other safeguarding concerns, staff report concerns relating to possible radicalisation to the DSL who, when appropriate, makes a referral to the Channel programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.

The risk of radicalisation is the product of a number of factors and identifying this risk requires that staff exercise their professional judgement, seeking further advice as necessary. It may be combined with other vulnerabilities or may be the only risk identified.

Potential indicators include:

  • The need for identity and belonging
  • Use of inappropriate language
  • Behavioural changes/becoming emotionally volatile
  • The expression of extremist views
  • Possession of violent extremist literature
  • Advocating violent actions and means
  • Seeking to recruit others to an extremist ideology 
  • A conviction that their religion, culture or beliefs are under threat and treated unjustly
  • A tendency to look for conspiracy theories and distrust of mainstream media
  • Being secretive about who they have been talking to online and what sites they visit
  • Switching screens when you move near the phone, tablet or computer
  • Possessing items – electronic devices or phones – of which the parent/carer is unaware