Prevent for Schools
Prevent information for schools - New Guidance
The government's Prevent strategy aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. While it remains rare for children and young people to become involved in terrorist activity, young people from an early age can be exposed to extremist influences or prejudiced views including those of the Far Right and religious based extremism. It is therefore important that we take a proportionate approach and remain vigilant, although the risk may be low.
In 2013 the travel to Syria of six young local men has brought these risks into sharp focus. As a result, many schools and higher/further education establishments have received briefings on extremism. Portsmouth has recently appointed a Prevent coordinator (Charlie Pericleous).
Schools have a vital role to play in protecting pupils from the risks of extremism and radicalisation, a role which will be underpinned by the new legal duty in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 “to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. We strongly recommend schools view the guidance on the implementation of the duty; Prevent Duty Guidance (pages 10-12).
In addition to this, on the 1st September, The Department for Education issued a new policy paper outlining how it is tackling extremisim through the education and children's services sectors, this can be found here : Preventing extremism in the education and children's services sectors.
Keeping children safe from these risks is a safeguarding matter and should be approached in the same way as safeguarding children from other risks.
Prevent Toolkit for Schools
A good practice toolkit has been developed to support schools in complying with the Prevent Duty and includes a self-assessment toolkit alongside an action plan template for senior managers. You can find it here in the Ealing Grid for Learning: www.egfl.org.uk/prevent
Dedicated Helpline for schools
Schools may also wish to be aware that as part of the increased support from the DfE, its Due Diligence and Counter Extremism Group (DDCEG) has been expanded and has recently launched a dedicated telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to enable school staff and governors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly and in confidence.
Please note that the helpline is not intended for use in emergency situations, such as a child being at risk of harm or a security incident. In these situations normal safeguarding procedures should be followed.
Prevent concerns should be forwarded to the Joint Action Team (JAT) or Hampshire Constabulary (101 or 999 in an emergency).
The purpose of the Educateagainsthate.com website is to provide practical advice and support to help all individuals with an interest in keeping children safe from the dangers of extremism. This site has been created by the Department for Education and the Home Office. The Website holds information for parents, teachers, schools leaders and has links to further guidance and resources.
As children grow and become more independent, it is not unusual for them to take risks, explore new things and push boundaries. Teenage years are often a time when young people will be searching for answers to questions about identity, faith and belonging, as well as looking for adventure and excitement.
This can mean that they are particularly vulnerable to extremist groups, who may claim to offer answers, as well as identity and a strong social network. And because they know young people are vulnerable, extremist groups often target them using the internet and social media to spread their ideology. There have been a number of tragic examples where young people have been misled by extremist groups, with some travelling to Syria and others becoming involved in hate crimes against minority groups
Other supporting materials
A number of supporting materials have been produced by local authorities, police and other agencies. We are currently working with the Home Office to make more resources available to local schools. Current resources include –
- The new “Prevent Tragedies” online campaign
- Lancashire's Prevent Education Group and ‘Families Matter’ run by Families Against Stress and Trauma)
- London Grid for Learning
- Let's Talk About It
- Getting on Together
- Hampshire Police Strategic Partnership Safer Schools and Partners newsletter (Feb 2016)
The Heartstone Odyssey Project
A new community cohesion / integration project for schools
An exciting opportunity will be launched in 2017/18 for pupils in years 5, 6 and 7 to take part in a project that will help to challenge hate crime; build community cohesion and integration; provide schools with a practical tool to deliver SMSC development; and undertake all of this through a process which builds literacy, presentation and communication skills and which is incorporated into the curriculum.
The initiative is being led by Heartstone, a non-profit national organisation which uses story – fiction, photo documentary and historically based story themes - to raise social and environmental issues with children and young people.
The Heartstone Odyssey Project follows out of a fantasy story centred on a female heroine, Chandra, and documents her quest to overcome intolerance, prejudice and racism in collaboration with her allies – the mice.
Up to 10 schools (a class group in each school) will be selected in Portsmouth to take part. Introductory training for teachers will be provided in September 2017 alongside a set of resources including: a class set of 30 books; teachers' notes; and resources for a small scale exhibition.
The project is being funded by Heartstone's sponsors and the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner. Apart from the time commitment there are no other costs to schools.
If you are interested in being one of the 10 schools to take part in Portsmouth, please contact Freida M'Cormack.
The Heartstone Odyssey Project
A New Community Cohesion/Integration Project for Schools
Prevent Education Officer