The Prevent Strategy recognises the importance of schools in counter-terrorism activities. More recently, concerns about the inappropriate actions of some schools were highlighted in the Birmingham Trojan Horse case, where a number of OFSTED inspections revealed a failure to promote British values adequately in some schools, meaning that young people in them were vulnerable to radical and extremist ideas. Consequently, all schools need a clear statement of British values and how they are promoted through the school’s curriculum.
From 01 July 2015 all schools are required to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. This duty is known as the Prevent duty.
“Radicalisation” refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism. During that process it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being drawn into terrorist-related activity. This means that for Newfield School (and other schools), it is essential for staff to be able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, and know what to do when they are identified, as part of safeguarding duties, whether from within families or from outside influences. We promote British values (see our policy below) to challenge extremist views. This does not mean stopping pupils debating controversial issues, but on the contrary to provide a safe place to understand the risks associated with terrorism and develop the knowledge and skills to be able to challenge extremist arguments.
The four themes to do this are through:
– Risk assessment
– Working in partnership
– Staff training, and
– IT policies.
If you require more information on this, please contact our Designated Safeguarding Officer, Mr Whelan, Head Teacher.
Vulnerability to radicalisation or extreme view points
The school recognises its duty to protect our pupils from indoctrination into any form of extreme ideology which may lead to the harm of self or others. This is particularly important because of the open access to electronic information through the internet. The schools aims to safeguard young people through educating them on the appropriate use of social media and the dangers of downloading and sharing inappropriate material which is illegal under the Counter-Terrorism Act. The school vets all visitors carefully and will take firm action if any individual or group is perceived to be attempting to influence members of our school community, either physically or electronically.
Our definition of radical or extreme ideology is ‘a set of ideas which could justify vilification or violence against individuals, groups or self.’ Staff are trained to be vigilant for spotting signs of extremist view and behaviours and to always report anything which may suggest a pupil is expressing opinions which may cause concern. We place a strong emphasis on the common values that all communities share such as self-respect, tolerance and the sanctity of life. We work hard to broaden our pupils’ experience, to prepare them for life and work in contemporary Britain. We teach them to respect and value the diversity around them as well as understanding how to make safe, well-considered decisions.
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