Under section 26 (1) of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, all school staff members have a duty to prevent children from being drawn into terrorism. For this reason, you need to be able to identify pupils who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and know what to do if you are concerned.
You should be aware of, and give due regard to, the following guidance:
- HM Government (2015) ‘Revised Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales’
- DfE (2015) ‘The Prevent duty’ - please click on the link below
What is radicalisation?
- The term used to describe someone being drawn into terrorism.
- A process by which an individual adopts increasingly extreme political, social or religious ideals and aspirations that reject or undermine the status quo.
- Driven by a belief which supports violence.
- An issue which should be treated as part of a school’s wider safeguarding duties.
- Not only in reference to religious terrorism, but also in terms of political activism, such as extremist animal rights groups.
- Accessing extremist material online
- Drawing graffiti or artwork which promotes extremist messages or symbols
- Changing their behaviour or friendship group
- Changing their religious practice
- Becoming religiously/culturally isolated
- Travelling to or residing in foreign countries, particularly conflict zones
- Participating in political activism
- Having negative peer influences
- Demonstrating risk-taking behaviour
- Dramatically changing their appearance
- Wearing clothing/logos associated with extremist groups
- Voicing extremist opinions
- Using terms to exclude others (creating a sense of ‘them and us’)
- Using language which incites violence or promotes intolerance
- Becoming psychologically isolated from their family
Our safeguarding policies outline the process for reporting concerns of radicalisation.
The lead Prevent Officer in school is Mrs Georgiou - Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
The deputy lead Prevent Officer in school is Mr Hatton - Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)
There are five key steps to the reporting process, as outlined below:
- A concern is reported to the DSL, no matter how small it may be.
Where the DSL and deputy DSL are not available, concerns can be reported to the DfE via 020 7340 7264. If the pupil is in immediate harm, contact the police.
- The DSL speaks to the pupil to ascertain if it’s an isolated incident.
A series of informative questions are posed to the pupil to establish whether a worrying mindset is present.
3. The DSL speaks to the pupil’s parents.
This isn’t done if the parents have, or could potentially have, extremist views. Where this is the case, the DSL should skip to the next step of the process.
- The local Prevent practitioner is contacted if concerns are serious or repeated.
The DSL uses their professional judgement when assessing a pupil’s measurement of vulnerability, focussing on a pupil’s active participation. The local Prevent practitioner is contacted for additional advice, where necessary.
- A referral is made to the Channel programme.
Where there is a serious concern or active participation is present, the DSL refers the case to Channel, who will then use the Vulnerability Assessment Framework to evaluate a pupil’s risk of radicalisation, liaising with school staff members where necessary. If Channel confirms that vulnerability to radicalisation is present, they will arrange the appropriate support for the pupil, liaising with multiple organisations to ensure the pupil’s needs are effectively met.