What is the Prevent strategy?
Prevent is about safeguarding people and communities from the threat of terrorism. Prevent is 1 of the 4 elements of CONTEST, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes.
Prevent strategy and schools
From 1st July 2015 specified authorities, including all schools are 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 means we have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism whilst protecting children from extremist and violent views.
This duty is known as the prevent duty. Indicators of extreme behaviour includes some of the following:
- Verbal comments-praising ISIS or Jihad: praising extreme figure heads (Hitler); discussing other religions in a disparaging way
- Peer actions-refusing to work with others owing to their religion/beliefs
- Personal beliefs- extreme views on foreign policy; claims they should fight for their people abroad
- Communications- the use of social media to publicise extreme views; drawing inflammatory images (swastikas)
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
Spotting the signs:
Radicalisation can be very hard to detect. Signs that may indicate a child is being radicalised include:
- Increased secretiveness, especially around internet use
- A sudden disrespectful attitude towards others
- Isolating themselves from family and friend
- Talking as if from a scripted speech
- unwillingness or inability to discuss their views
- Increased level of anger
- Changes in friendship groups and appearance
This list is not exclusive to radicalisation. Young people can exhibit these characteristics through their teenage years.
What can you do?
- Encourage your child to show an interest in the local community and show respect for people from all backgrounds
- Be alert for potential warning signs like increased secrecy and explain to them that anyone who tells them to keep secrets from their family or teachers is likely to be trying to do them harm or put them in danger
- Teach your child that expressing strong views and trying to change things for the better is fine but they should not take violent action against others or support those that do.
- Monitor their internet history and what sites they are exploring – educate them about internet safety
- Listen carefully to your child’s views and worries
- Have open and honest discussions with your child about their thoughts and feelings on local and international events
- Help your child to find advice and support to understand distressing events and feelings.
Worried/concerned about your child
- Talk to your child
- Raise the problem with a teacher who knows your child well
- Raise the issue with a friend or family member who knows your child well
- If you think your child is in immediate danger or see or hear something that may be terrorist related call 999 or the confidential Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.
Contact the school if you have any questions or concerns about the Prevent strategy and what it means for your child. KAA’s safeguarding policy is available on the school website and this provides more detail about radicalisation and British values.
Educate Against Hate- http://educateagainsthate.com/parents/what-are-the-warning-signs/
Prevent Duty Guidance- https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prevent-duty-guidance