Since the ‘Education and Inspections Act 2006’ schools have a duty to promote community cohesion. Over the last few years, global events have led to a growth of extremist viewpoints, including advocacy of violent extremism.
Schools have an important part to play in both educating children and young people about extremism and recognising when pupils start to become radicalised. In March 2015, new statutory duties were placed on schools by the Counter Terrorism and Security Act (2015) which means they must work to prevent children being drawn into extremism.
Safeguarding children from all risks of harm is an important part of a school’s work and protecting them from extremism is one aspect of that.
At Stanion C.E Primary School we ensure that through our school vision, values, rules, diverse curriculum and teaching we promote tolerance and respect for all cultures, faiths and lifestyles. Our governing body also ensures that this ethos is reflected and implemented effectively in school policy and practice and that there are effective risk assessments in place to safeguard and promote students’ welfare.
We recognise that we have a duty to prepare our children for life in modern Britain and to keep them safe.
Pupils who attend our school have the right to learn in safety. We do not tolerate bullying of any kind and will challenge derogatory language and behaviour towards others.
The duty to prevent children and young people being radicalised is set out in the following documents.
- Counter Terrorism and Security Act (2015)
- Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016)
- Prevent Duty Guidance (2015)
- Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015)
- Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools: Departmental advice for maintained schools (DfE 2014)
- Teaching and Learning Policy
- Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
- Equality Policy
- Staff Handbook
- Whistle-blowing Policy
Extremism is defined in the 2011 Prevent strategy as 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. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas.
Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.
British Values are democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Roles and Responsibilities
Role of the Governing Body
It is the role of the governing body to ensure that the school meets its statutory duties with regard to preventing radicalisation.
The governing body has a nominated person who will liaise with the headteacher and other staff about issues to do with protecting children from radicalisation.
Role of the Headteacher
It is the role of the headteacher to:
- ensure that the school and its staff respond to preventing radicalisation on a day-to-day basis,
- ensure that the school’s curriculum addresses the issues involved in radicalisation
- ensure that staff conduct is consistent with preventing radicalisation
Role of our Designated Safeguarding Leads
It is the role of our designated safeguarding leads to:
- ensure that staff understand the issues of radicalisation, are able to recognise the signs of vulnerability or radicalisation and know how to refer their concerns
- receive safeguarding concerns about children and young people who may be vulnerable to the risk of radicalisation or are showing signs of radicalisation
- make referrals to appropriate agencies with regard to concerns about radicalisation
- liaise with partners, including the local authority and the police
- report to the governing body on these matters
Role of staff
- It is the role of staff to understand the issues of radicalisation, are able to recognise the signs of vulnerability or radicalisation and know how to refer their concerns.
- We are committed to ensuring that our pupils are offered a broad and balanced curriculum that aims to prepare them for life in modern Britain. We encourage our pupils to be inquisitive learners who are open to new experiences and are tolerant of others.
- We adopt a non-negotiable approach towards the expression of views contrary to our agreed set of values. These values support the development of the whole child as a reflective learner within a calm, caring, happy and purposeful atmosphere. Teaching the schools core values alongside the fundamental British Values supports quality teaching and learning, whilst making a positive contribution to the development of a fair, just and civil society.
How we Promote British Values at Stanion C.E Primary
Children learn about Democracy through the following.
- Formulation and agreement of a set of ‘class rules’ at the beginning of each school year.
- Organisation of election days when pupils are to be chosen as representatives for particular roles following the presentation of election manifestos by the candidate.
- Engagement pupils in organising and managing whole-school events. Some of these will involve raising money for charities.
- Children’s engagement in supporting the interviewing process for new teaching staff.
- Discussion of democracy within assemblies.
- Revisit school respect code and discuss underpinning principles of this.
Children learn about The Rule of Law through the following
- Having a clear, consistent behaviour policy (based upon positive rewards) which is consistently applied throughout the school.
- Encouraging children to ‘Respond and Reflect’ on situations in a range of ways
- Providing opportunities for children to reflect about positive and negative behaviour during curriculum time.
- Providing an extensive Road Safety programme throughout the school through ‘Bikeability’ Training and general road safety wherever possible.
- Developing links with our Police Community Support Officer.
- Addressing issues of law during whole-school assemblies as and when appropriate.
- Giving considerable time to individual pupils who require additional opportunities to understand the importance of following rules.
- Encouraging visits from external agencies to talk to the children in school.
- Using our extensive reward system to acknowledge good behaviour as well as good academic work.
Children learn about Individual Liberty through the following
- Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are living within a safe and supportive environment.
- Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our online safety teaching.
- Pupils are given important roles in school, such as sports leaders, junior librarians and house leaders.
- Pupils are encouraged to understand responsibility in school in terms of behaviour and attitude to learning.
- Justice and fairness are key principles within our school.
- Issues linked to justice are given an assembly focus as one of our key values.
- Home / School agreements for all pupils are in place.
- Pupils are taught how to be safe and how to act safely. This is given an additional emphasis during anti-bullying week.
- Our curriculum promotes independent learning .Our curriculum aims to be empowering and provides many opportunities for children to exercise choice.
- Pupils learn about economic awareness and responsibilities and freedoms related to this through our annual business week.
Respect and Responsibility and Reflection are key values which permeate all aspects of school life. They determine the way in which we support and care for each other, for the community and for the environment.
Children learn about Respect through the following.
- The promotion of positive relationships.
- The modelling of positive relationships by all adults working in school.
- A detailed and extensive Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum in which children are taught that behaviour has an effect upon those around them and upon their own rights.
- The RE curriculum.
- All other aspects of the curriculum (as successfully working in groups requires respect for each other).
- The positive reward system developed to promote respect.
- Our celebration assemblies when all pupils show respect for the efforts of others.
- Giving responsibility to pupils.
- Participation in events organised to raise money for various charities.
- Our contribution to the community
- Learning to live with their peers on educational residential visits.
Understanding of Faiths and Beliefs is promoted in our school through the following.
- The stated aims and values of the school.
- The PSHE curriculum.
- The RE curriculum.
- The Modern Foreign Languages curriculum.
- Educational visits to places of religious worship.
- The school’s Equal Opportunities Policy.
- Class and whole school assemblies.
- Work on prejudice-based bullying during anti-bullying week.
- Using world events as opportunities to positively reinforce life and culture in other countries (football world cup, the Olympics, etc.)
- The internet provides children and young people with access to a wide-range of content, some of which is harmful. Extremists use the internet, including social media, to share their messages. The filtering systems used in our school blocks inappropriate content, including extremist content.
- We also filter out social media, such as Facebook. Searches and web addresses are monitored and the ICT technicians will alert senior staff where there are concerns and prevent further access when new sites that are unblocked are found.
- Where staff, students or visitors find unblocked extremist content they must report it to a senior member of staff and log the issue on our e-safety record.
- We are aware that children and young people have access to unfiltered internet when using their mobile phones and staff. Pupils are not permitted to bring mobile phones to school.
Pupils and staff know how to report internet content that is inappropriate or of concern.
Staff will be given training to help them understand the issues of radicalisation, are able to recognise the signs of vulnerability or radicalisation and know how to refer their concerns. This information also forms part of induction safeguarding training. Staff are updated as necessary in safeguarding briefings and discussion.
We ensure that the staff we appoint to the school are suitable, our recruitment procedures are rigorous and we follow the statutory guidance published in part 3 of Keeping Children Safe in Education (2015). Vetting and barring checks are undertaken on relevant people, including governors and volunteers.
Visitors to the school are made aware of our safeguarding and child protection policies on arrival at the school and are given information about what to do if they are concerned about any aspect of child welfare.
Visitors who are invited to speak to pupils will be informed about our preventing extremism policy and relevant vetting checks are undertaken. We undertake due diligence to ensure that visiting speakers are appropriate. Speakers will be supervised at all times and will not be allowed to speak to children without a member of staff being present.
Staff must not invite speakers into school without first obtaining permission from the headteacher or deputy headteacher in the headteacher’s absence.
Signs of vulnerability
There are no known definitive indicators that a young person is vulnerable to radicalisation, but there are number of signs that together increase the risk. Signs of vulnerability include:
- being in possession of extremist literature
- social exclusion
- traumatic events
- global or national events
- religious conversion
- change in behaviour
- extremist influences
- conflict with family over lifestyle
- confused identify
- victim or witness to race or hate crimes
- rejection by peers, family, social groups or faith
Early indicators of radicalisation or extremism may include:
- showing sympathy for extremist causes
- glorifying violence, especially to other faiths or cultures
- making remarks or comments about being at extremist events or rallies outside school
- evidence of possessing illegal or extremist literature
- advocating messages similar to illegal organisations or other extremist groups
- out of character changes in dress, behaviour and peer relationships (but there are also very powerful narratives, programmes and networks that young people can come across online so involvement with particular groups may not be apparent.)
- secretive behaviour
- online searches or sharing extremist messages or social profiles
- intolerance of difference, including faith, culture, gender, race or sexuality
- graffiti, art work or writing that displays extremist themes
- attempts to impose extremist views or practices on others
- verbalising anti-Western or anti-British views
- advocating violence towards others.
Our Protocol for Reducing Risk within School and Safeguarding Pupils
- Engage children in their learning
- Tackle isolation and ensure that no pupil feels left out
- Provide educational support when needed
- Monitor access to the computers
- Teach children how to use the internet safely
- Reduce and tackle any bullying
- Assign mentors or wellbeing support for children who need it
- Provide vulnerable parents with information to support them
- Refer pupils for counselling if it is needed
- Liaise effectively with external support agencies
- Provide positive influences
- Listen to children
- Provide forums for discussion and for children to voice their opinion
- Provide mental health support
- Introduce families to support groups if necessary
- Teach and learn about other cultures and beliefs
Staff and visitors to the school must refer all concerns about children and young people who show signs of vulnerability or radicalisation must be passed to our Designated Safeguarding Leads using the usual methods for reporting other safeguarding concerns.
When there are significant concerns about a pupil, the Designated Safeguarding Leads in liaison with the headteacher will make a referral to the appropriate body.