(The Prevent Duty)
From 1 July 2015 all schools registered early years’ childcare providers and registered later years 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.
At St George’s School we see the Prevent Duty as being part of our safeguarding role, similar to protecting children from other harms (e.g., drugs, sexual exploitation and neglect).
In order for schools and childcare providers to fulfil the Prevent duty, it is essential that staff are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and know what to do when they are identified. Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of schools’ and childcare providers’ 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.
Schools and childcare providers can also build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling them to challenge extremist views. It is important to emphasise that the Prevent duty is not intended to stop pupils debating controversial issues.
On the contrary, schools should 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.
St George’s School has used this guidance to write a 'Prevent Risk Assessment'. Staff are fully trained - they know how to identify radicalisation and what to do if they have a concern.
Our assessment of the risk of children within this school of being drawn into radicalisation of any form is that it is very low. This is partly due to the age of the children, but also due to the nature of the local and school community. The school is a close and supportive community, welcoming all newcomers, and the local Church (St George's) is very proactive in supporting families in the community. There are no known radical groups within the community, and instances of hate crime are very rare. There are currently no recorded instances of extremist comments or behaviour in the school community. Racist comments and behaviour are extremely rare, are closely monitored, and dealt with firmly.
Building Children’s Resilience to Radicalisation
We aim 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. One of our core aspects is to promote the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of pupils and, within this, fundamental British values.
(See PSHE policy and SSMC guidelines)
We aim to teach our pupils how to: recognise and manage risk; make safer choices; and recognise when pressure from others threatens their personal safety and wellbeing.
We aim develop traits such as resilience, determination, self-esteem, and confidence.
Our citizenship teaching is embedded within our wider curriculum, and children have the opportunity to learn about democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld. They also learn, through RE and other topic work, about the diverse national, regional, religious, and ethnic identities in the local area and beyond. An essential aspect within this is the development of mutual respect and understanding. Ultimately, we aim to provide pupils with the knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society as they get older.
Identification of vulnerable children
We place great emphasis on knowing our children and their families very well and developing a close partnership throughout their time at St George’s School. In this way we would aim to be alert for any signs of radicalisation, including the displaying or promotion of extremist, or even intolerant, views.
Should any staff members have concerns about a child or a child’s family, they would report this to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (Headteacher) or Chair of Governors.
What to do if any staff member (or any member of the school community) has a concern
Any concern should be reported in the first instance to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (Headteacher).
The Department for Education has dedicated a telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to enable staff and governors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly.
Concerns can also be raised by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.