What is the Prevent strategy?
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes.
The Prevent strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including the extreme right-wing, violent Islamist groups and other causes.
How does the Prevent strategy apply to schools?
From July 2015 all schools (as well as other organisations) have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism.
This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views the same way we protect them from any other harm.
Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues, at an appropriate level so they better understand how to protect themselves.
What does this mean in practice at Allen Edwards Primary School?
Many of the things we already do in school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy.
Having strong Aims and Ethos which pervades our school.
Focusing on core values.
Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity.
Challenging prejudices and racist comments.
Developing critical thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity.
Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, as well as British values such as democracy.
Educating our children to be critical thinkers.
We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils.
Different schools will carry out the Prevent duty in different ways, depending on the age of the children and the needs of the community.
Isn’t my child too young to learn about extremism?
The Prevent strategy is not just about discussing extremism itself, which may not be appropriate for younger children. It is also about teaching children values such as tolerance and mutual respect. This is what we will focus on at Whitehouse Primary School.
The school will make sure any discussions are suitable for the age and maturity of the children involved.
Is extremism really a risk in our area?
Extremism can take many forms, including political, religious and misogynistic extremism. Some of these may be a bigger threat in our area than others.
We will endeavour to give children the skills to protect them from any extremist views they may encounter, now or later in their lives.
Our Prevent Duty
Preventing Radicalisation in school
Building resilience in our young people and the promotion of fundamental British values are at the heart of preventing radicalisation. We do this by providing a safe place in which children can discuss issues, and we aim to give them the knowledge and confidence to challenge extremist beliefs and ideologies.
Our new prevent duty is carried out under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, which legally requires us to take steps to prevent pupils from being drawn into terrorism. We take this duty seriously and carry out the four main actions responsibly, namely: risk assessment, working in partnership, staff training and IT policies. If we assess a child as at risk, we will refer to the Channel Programme, which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.
We recognise that we play a vital role in keeping children safe from harm, including from the risks of extremism and radicalisation, and in promoting the welfare of children in our care.
What we do if there is a concern
If we have a concern about a particular pupil we will follow the school’s normal safeguarding procedures, and where deemed necessary, with Lambeth’s Prevent Officer and children’s social care.
The Department for Education has dedicated a telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to enable staff and governors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly. Please note that the helpline is not intended for use in emergency situations, such as a child being at immediate risk of harm or a security incident. In an emergency situation, we will follow the recommended emergency procedures.
Concerns can also be reported through https://report-extremism.education.gov.uk/.
Contact the school - If you have any questions or concerns about the Prevent Strategy and what it means for your child, please do not hesitate to contact the school.
See our policies - You will find more details about radicalisation in our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, available on our website. We also have information about spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and British values.
The following sources may also be useful for further information:
Extremism – vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values.
Ideology – a set of beliefs
Terrorism – a violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause
Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support extremism and terrorism