The Prevent Duty
Safeguarding Students who are Vulnerable to Extremism; the Prevent Duty
The Prevent strategy aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It remains rare for children and young people to become involved in terrorist activity, but we recognise young people can be exposed to terrorist and extremist influences or prejudiced views. As with other forms of safeguarding strategies, early intervention is always preferable.
There have been several occasions both locally and nationally in which extremist groups have attempted to radicalise vulnerable children and young people, to hold extreme views including views justifying political, religious, sexist or racist violence, or to steer them into a rigid and narrow ideology that is intolerant of diversity and leaves them vulnerable to future radicalisation.
Through our ethos, values and behaviour policy, the Academy provides a platform to ensure children and young people are given the support to respect themselves and others, and understand their role as a local and global citizen, being aware of the potential issues they face.
We seek to protect children and young people against the messages of all extremism including, but not restricted to, those linked to Daesh (ISIS), Far Right/White Supremacist ideology, Irish Nationalist and Loyalist paramilitary groups and extremist Animal Rights movements.
All staff are alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. Children at risk of radicalisation may display different signs or seek to hide their views. Some of the indicators staff look out for include:
- Vulnerability: identity crisis, personal crisis, migration, unmet aspirations and history of criminality
- Access to extremist influences: through friendship groups, internet activity, activities abroad i.e. military camps, child vocalising support of illegal or extremist/militant groups
- Experiences and influences: social rejection, personal impact from civil unrest and widespread media coverage of international events, change in appearance and behaviour, family conflict over religious reviews, verbal or written evidence of support for terrorist activities
- Travel: pattern of travel, regular extended travel, evidence of falsifying identity documents, consideration of unexplained absences
- Social factors: disadvantaged background, lack of empathy and/or affinity with others, severe learning difficulties or mental health, is the child a foreign national or refugee, experience of trauma or sectarian conflict, extremist views of a significant other.
The Academy has a Prevent Single Point of Contact (SPOC) who is the lead for safeguarding in relation to protecting individuals from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism. The Prevent Single Point of Contact (SPOC) is our Assistant Principal and Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), Mr Bennett.
The Channel process aims to provide support to individuals at risk of being drawn into violent extremism. It draws on existing collaboration between local authorities, the police, statutory partners (such as the education sector, social services, children’s and youth services and offender management services) and the local community and has three objectives: to identify individuals at risk of being drawn into violent extremism; to assess the nature and extent of that risk; to develop the most appropriate support for the individuals concerned. Links with the local Channel lead can be made by the DSL and where necessary, individual cases will be referred to the local channel panel for screening and assessment.