From 1 July 2015 all schools, registered early years childcare providers and registered later years childcare providers are subject to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. It applies to a wide range of public-facing bodies.
The focus of Prevent is on the significant threat posed by international terrorism and those in the UK who are inspired by it. But it is also concerned with reducing threats, risks and vulnerabilities posed by domestic extremists such as those from the far right, extreme animal rights activists and those involved in Northern Irish related terrorism.
Designated Prevent Lead / Single Point of Contact (SPOC): Mrs Megan Taylor
At Middleton Primary School protecting children from the risk of radicalisation is seen as part our schools’ wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other harms (e.g. drugs, gangs, neglect, sexual exploitation), whether these come from within their family or are the product of outside influences.
We strive to provide a safe space in which children, young people and staff can understand the risks associated with terrorism and develop the knowledge and skills to be able to challenge extremist arguments.
The statutory guidance on the Prevent duty summarises the requirements on schools in terms of four general themes:
- RISK ASSESSMENT - being able to demonstrate both a general understanding of the risks affecting children and young people in the area and a specific understanding of how to identify individual children who may be at risk of radicalisation and what to do to support them. As with managing other safeguarding risks, staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection.
- WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP - Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) are responsible for co-ordinating what is done by local agencies for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children in their local area. Safeguarding arrangements should already take into account the policies and procedures of the LSCB. Effective engagement with parents / the family is also important as they are in a key position to spot signs of radicalisation. It is important to assist and advise families who raise concerns and be able to point them to the right support mechanisms.
- STAFF TRAINING - schools should ensure that the Designated Safeguarding Lead undertakes Prevent awareness training and is able to provide advice and support to other members of staff on protecting children from the risk of radicalisation.
- IT POLICIES - for schools to ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in schools. Schools should ensure that suitable filtering is in place. More generally, schools have an important role to play in equipping children and young people to stay safe online, both in school and outside. Internet safety will usually be integral to a school’s ICT curriculum and can also be embedded in PSHE and SRE.
Building children’s resilience to radicalisation
Middleton Primary School aims to build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by providing a safe environment for debating controversial issues and helping them to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making.
We already promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and, within this, fundamental British values. In addition, Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is an effective way of providing pupils with time to explore sensitive or controversial issues, and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to understand and manage difficult situations. PHSE is used to teach pupils to recognise and manage risk, make safer choices, and recognise when pressure from others threatens their personal safety and well-being. We strive to teach pupils to develop effective ways of resisting pressures, including knowing when, where and how to get help.
Staff at Middleton Primary School encourage pupils to develop positive character traits through PSHE, such as resilience, determination, self-esteem, and confidence. Citizenship helps to provide pupils with the knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society. It should equip pupils to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, to debate, and to make reasoned arguments. In Citizenship, pupils learn about democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld. Pupils are also taught about the diverse national, regional, religious and ethnic identities in the United Kingdom and the need for mutual respect and understanding.
If you are concerned that an individual may be at risk of radicalisation, you should treat this as you would any other safeguarding concern; and escalate it using the normal school safeguarding procedures, such as informing the safeguarding lead, other designated staff and/or the LADO.
The Cambridgeshire Prevent team can be contacted on: Prevent@cambs.pnn.police.uk
Taken from: The Prevent duty Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers June 2015
Statement Updated Nov 2016 (MTa)