Prevent Agenda in Schools
Prevent is part of the UK counter-terrorism strategy named CONTEST. The aim of which is to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Prevent addresses all forms of terrorism, but continues to prioritise according to the threat they pose to our national security. At present, the majority of our resources and efforts will continue to be devoted to stopping people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. There is a commitment to protecting freedom of speech in this country. But preventing terrorism will mean challenging extremist (and non-violent) ideas that are also part of a terrorist ideology.
Prevent also means intervening to stop people moving from extremist groups or from extremism into terrorist-related activity.
The Prevent strategy specifically:
• responds to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those
who promote it;
• prevents people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given
appropriate advice and support; and
• works with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation which need
to be addressed.
The statutory Prevent guidance summarises the requirements on schools in terms of four general themes:
• risk assessment
• working in partnership
• staff training
• IT policies
Schools are expected to assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism, including support for extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology. This means 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. Schools and colleges should have clear procedures in place for protecting children at risk of radicalisation.
The Prevent guidance refers to the importance of Prevent awareness training to equip staff to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and to challenge extremist ideas. Individual schools are best placed to assess the training needs of staff in the light of their assessment of the risk to pupils at the school of being drawn into terrorism. As a minimum, however, 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.
What makes a young person vulnerable to radicalisation & extremism?
• Possession of literature related to extreme views.
• Extremist influences.
• Experience of poverty, disadvantage or social exclusion.
• Rejected by peer, faith, social group or family.
• Pressure from peers associated with extremism.
• Identity confusion.
• Conflict with family over religious beliefs and or lifestyle choices/extreme political views.
• Victim or witness to race or religious hate crime.
Do you recognise this person? Could you spot the signs?
• Being at a transitional time of life.
• A need for identity, meaning and belonging.
• Being influenced or controlled by a group.
• Opportunistic involvement.
• A desire for status.
• Social networks or involvement in extremism.
• Susceptibility to indoctrination.
• A desire for political or moral change.
• A need to dominate and control others.
• An event or series of traumatic events for both the person or global/national
If you have any concerns about a child being radicalised, please contact Jo McCue, Lead DSL on firstname.lastname@example.org