PREVENT is part of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. Its aim 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 the country’s national security. Prevent involves the identification and referral of those susceptible to violent extremism into appropriate interventions. These interventions aim to divert the susceptible and vulnerable from embarking down the path to radicalisation. The aim of the prevent strategy is to:
- Respond to the ideological challenge we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism, and the threat we face from those who promote these views.
- Provide practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support.
- Work with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charities, online and health) where there are risks of radicalisation.
- staff should have a general understanding of how to identify a child who may be at risk of radicalisation
- staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection.
- staff should use professional judgement in identifying children who might be at risk of radicalisation and act proportionately
- staff will undertake training appropriate to their role (the DSL will undertake Prevent Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP) training)
- the school ICT policy will ensure the safety of children by ensuring they cannot access terrorist and extremist material when using the internet and that suitable filtering software is in place
- staff must speak to the DSL if they have concerns and complete a school safeguarding incident referral form via CPOMS
- the DSL must follow LSCB procedures in relation to obtaining advice and/or making a referral to Channel (Channel General Awareness).
Link to LSCB procedures:
Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism, there is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. From July 2015 all schools are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act of 2015, to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’, known as the ‘Prevent Duty’.
The Heights is committed to providing a secure environment for pupils, where all children both feel and are kept safe. All adults working in schools have to recognise that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, irrespective of the role they undertake or whether they have direct contact with or responsibility for children & young people.
This advice & guidance will need to be applied within the context of each school’s existing arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in line with the statutory duties set out in sections 157 and 175 of the Education Act 2002.
The following definitions create clarity when discussing radicalisation and extremism:
Ideology – a set of beliefs.
Extremism – a vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.
Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.
Terrorism – an action that endangers or causes serious violence damage or disruption and is intended to influence the Government or to intimidate the public and is made with the intention of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.
When applying this guidance we use the following accepted Government definition of extremism which is:
‘Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs; and/or calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas’.
The full Government Prevent Strategy can be viewed at:
There is no place for extremist views of any kind in The Heights, whether from internal sources – pupils, staff, governors or external sources – school community, external agencies or individuals. Pupils need to see The Heights as a safe place where they can explore controversial issues openly and where teachers encourage and facilitate this. We have a duty to ensure this happens.
The Heights will recognise that extremism and exposure to extremist materials and influences can lead to poor outcomes for children and so these issues must be addressed as a safeguarding concern
It is recognised that if we fail to challenge extremist views, we are failing to protect our pupils. Extremists of all persuasions aim to develop destructive relationships between different communities by promoting division, fear and mistrust of others based on ignorance or prejudice and thereby limiting the life chances of young people. Education is a powerful tool to challenge this; equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and critical thinking, to challenge and debate in an informed way.
The Heights will provide a broad and balanced curriculum, delivered by skilled professionals, so that pupils are enriched, valued, tolerant of difference, understand diversity, and do not feel marginalised.
We are aware that young people may be exposed to extremist influences or prejudiced views from an early age, which can emanate from a variety of sources, including the media and internet. At times pupils may themselves reflect or display views that can be discriminatory, prejudiced or extremist, including using derogatory language. Any prejudice, discrimination or extremist views displayed by pupils or staff will need to be challenged and where appropriate dealt with in-line with school policies such as the Pupil Behaviour and Attendance Policy or the Staff Code of Conduct.
As part of safeguarding responsibilities school staff are alert to:
- Pupils disclosing their exposure to extremist actions, materials or the views of others outside of school, such as in their homes or community groups, especially where pupils have not actively sought these out;
- Graffiti symbols, writing or art work promoting extremist messages or images;
- Pupils accessing extremist material online, including through social networking sites
- Parental reports of changes in behaviour, friendships or actions and requests for assistance;
- Partner schools, local authority services, and police reports of issues affecting pupils in other schools or settings;
- Pupils voicing opinions drawn from extremist ideologies and narratives;
- Use of extremist or ‘hate’ terms to exclude others or incite violence;
- Intolerance of difference, whether secular or religious or (in line with our equalities policy) views based on, but not exclusive to, gender, disability, homophobia, race, colour or culture;
- Attempts to impose extremist views or practices on others;
- Anti-British views.
At The Heights, we follow any locally agreed procedure as set out by the Local Safeguarding Children Board, including criteria for safeguarding individuals vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation. In the event of concerns about a person at risk of becoming radicalised, contact will be made with Lancashire Constabulary’s Prevent Team to consider whether it is appropriate to refer the individuals to the Channel process. Channel is a bespoke multi-agency approach which uses early intervention to protect and divert people away from the risks they face. Referrals can be made by anyone who has concerns. The Channel Panel is chaired by the local authority and meets at regular intervals to discuss referrals on individuals who have been identified as being at risk of radicalisation but have not committed any terrorism offence. For further details visit:
All staff at The Heights strive to eradicate the myths and assumptions that can lead to some young people becoming alienated and disempowered, especially in situations where children may find it harder to challenge or question radical influences. This will be achieved by good teaching, including PSHE.
These teaching approaches will help pupils build resilience to extremism and give them a positive sense of identity through the development of critical thinking skills. It is important to ensure that all staff are equipped to recognise extremism and are skilled and confident enough to challenge it.
School is flexible enough to adapt their teaching approaches, as appropriate, to address specific issues, enabling them to become more relevant to current issues of extremism and radicalisation. For this reason schools are advised to utilise appropriate/suitable resources in this undertaking, accessing various materials such as:
Our school aims to:
- Make a connection with children & young people through good teaching and a pupil centred approach;
- Facilitate a ‘safe space’ for dialogue; and
- Empower pupils with the appropriate skills, knowledge, understanding and awareness for resilience.
This approach will need to be embedded within the school ethos, so that pupils know and understand what safe and acceptable behaviour is within the context of extremism and radicalisation. This will work in conjunction with each school’s approach to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils. This can be achieved by using a curriculum which includes:
- Citizenship programmes;
- Open discussion and debate;
- Work on anti-violence and restorative approaches;
- Focused educational programmes.
The Heights will also need to work with local partners, families and communities in their efforts to ensure better understanding and embrace the local context and values in challenging extremist views and to assist in the broadening of their pupil’s experiences and horizons. We will need to support pupils who may be vulnerable to such influences as part of their wider safeguarding responsibilities. Where staff believe a pupil is being directly affected by extremist materials or influences, they will need to ensure that that pupil is offered mentoring. Additionally, the school should seek external support from the Local Authority Prevent Coordinator and the Education Safeguarding Officer.
The Heights promotes the values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs by teaching and encouraging pupils to respect one another and to respect and tolerate difference, especially those of a different faith or no faith. It is our responsibility to keep pupils safe and prepare them for life in modern multi-cultural Britain.
Use of External Agencies and Speakers
Schools may encourage the use of external agencies or speakers to enrich the experiences of their pupils. However, they will need to vet these individuals and any organisations which provide such learning opportunities or experiences for pupils. The vetting processes is to ensure that we do not unwittingly use agencies or individuals that contradict each other with their messages or that are inconsistent with, or in opposition to, the school’s values and ethos and to ensure that this is of benefit to all pupils.
The Heights will therefore assess the suitability and effectiveness of input from external agencies or individuals to ensure that:
- Any messages communicated to pupils are consistent with the ethos of the school and do not marginalise any communities, groups or individuals;
- Any messages do not seek to glorify criminal activity or violent extremism, or seek to radicalise pupils through extreme or narrow views of faith, religion, culture or other ideologies;
- Activities are matched to the needs of pupils;
- Speakers are evaluated by the school to ensure they are effective.
By delivering a broad and balanced curriculum, augmented by the use of external sources, schools will strive to ensure that pupils recognise risk and build resilience to manage any such risk themselves, appropriate to their age and ability, and to also help pupils develop the critical thinking skills needed to engage in informed debate.