Protecting children from extremism and radicalisation
From 1 July 2015, all schools have become 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 for Schools.
The statutory 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. The Home Office has developed a core training product for this purpose – Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP). All our staff have received WRAP training relating to what Prevent is about and how to deal with any issues they may see inside or outside school.
Preventing extremism and radicalisation strategy
We take seriously our duty contained in the Counterterrorism and Security Act (2015), to prevent pupils and those working in school from being radicalised or drawn into extremism. We follow the advice contained within the Prevent Duty (June 2015) in conjunction with the other duties, which we already have for keeping children safe in school.
Putteridge Primary School is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its pupils. As a school we recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability. All staff are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
The main aims of this policy statement are to ensure that staff are fully engaged in being vigilant about radicalisation; that they overcome professional disbelief that such issues will not happen here and ensure that we work alongside other professional bodies and agencies to ensure that our pupils are safe from harm. The principle objectives are that:
- All staff will have an understanding of what radicalisation and extremism are and why we need to be vigilant in school.
- All staff will know what the school policy is on anti-radicalisation and extremism and will follow the policy when issues arise.
- All parents and pupils will know that the school has policies in place to keep pupils safe from harm and that the school regularly reviews its systems to ensure they are appropriate and effective.
Radicalisation is defined as the act or process of making a person more radical or favouring of extreme or fundamental changes in political, economic or social conditions, institutions or habits of the mind. Extremism is defined as the holding of extreme political or religious views.
It is important for us to be constantly vigilant and remain fully informed about the issues which affect the region in which we teach. Staff are reminded to suspend any professional disbelief that instances of radicalisation ‘could not happen here’ and to refer any concerns through the appropriate channels (currently via the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Headteacher).
We believe that it is possible to intervene to protect people who are vulnerable. Early intervention is vital and staff must be aware of the established processes for front line professionals to refer concerns about individuals and/or groups. We must have the confidence to challenge, the confidence to intervene and ensure that we have strong safeguarding practices based on the most up-to-date guidance and best practice.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead and the Headteacher will deal swiftly with any referrals made by staff or with concerns reported by staff. They will discuss the most appropriate course of action on a case-by-case basis and will decide when a referral to external agencies is needed.
Our curriculum promotes respect, tolerance and diversity. We are committed to ensuring that our pupils are offered a broad and balanced curriculum that aims to prepare them for life in modern Britain. Children are encouraged to share their views and recognise that they are entitled to have their own different beliefs which should not be used to influence others. Our PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education), Citizenship and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) provision is embedded across the curriculum, and underpins the ethos of the school. Teaching the schools’ core values alongside the fundamental British values supports quality teaching and learning, whilst making a positive contribution to the development of a fair, just and civil society. Children are regularly taught about how to stay safe when using the Internet and are encouraged to recognise that people are not always who they say they are online. They are taught to seek adult help if they are upset or concerned about anything they read or see on the Internet.
The arrangements for recruiting all staff, permanent and volunteers, to our school will follow Luton’s guidance for safer recruitment best practice in education settings, including, but not limited to:
- ensuring that DBS checks are always made at the appropriate level
- that references are always received and checked
- that we complete and maintain a single central record of such vetting checks.
We will apply safer recruitment best practice principles and sound employment practice in general and in doing so will deny opportunities for inappropriate recruitment or advancement. We will be alert to the possibility that persons may seek to gain positions within our school so as to unduly influence our schools character and ethos. We are aware that such persons seek to limit the opportunities for our pupils thereby rendering them vulnerable to extremist views and radicalisation as a consequence. Therefore, by adhering to safer recruitment best practice techniques and by ensuring that there is an ongoing culture of vigilance within our school and staff team we will minimise the opportunities for extremist views to prevail.
Through INSET opportunities in school, we will ensure that our staff are fully aware of the threats, risks and vulnerabilities that are linked to radicalisation; are aware of the process of radicalisation and how this might be identified early on.