What is the Prevent strategy?
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes.
The Prevent strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including political and religious extremism.
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, in the same way we protect them from drugs or gang violence.
Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues so that they better understand how to protect themselves.
What we do in school to prevent radicalisation?
Many of the things we already do in school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy.
- 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
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.
How does Prevent relate to British values?
Schools have been required to promote British values since 2014, and this will continue to be part of our response to the Prevent strategy.
British values include:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty and mutual respect
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
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.
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 ideological extremism. Some of these may be a bigger threat in our area than others.
Extremism is when someone has views that lead them to act dangerously and violently. Radicalisation is the process someone goes through to become extreme.
Examples of extremist groups include:
- The far right (e.g., English Defence League (EDL); Britain First; British National Party (BNP))
- ISIS (also known as IS, ISIL, Daesh)
- Al Qaeda (the terrorist group responsible for flying passenger planes into the World Trade Center in New York in 2001)
It is terrible if someone we know is radicalised, but by working together we can reduce the chances of people we know becoming radicalised. Parents can have a positive effect in preventing radicalisation, particularly for their own children. Find out more on the Educate Against Hate website, and by following the links below: