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 does this mean in practice?
Many of the things we already do in School to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy.
During our collective worship, in RE and PSHE, and part of our whole School ethos, we teach children about respect, democracy and different faiths and beliefs to help them develop into rounded individuals who have respect for others. During lessons about online safety, children are taught to ask questions about what they read and understand that what they read on the Internet is not always true or safe.
We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they cannot access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into School to work with pupils.
How do we keep children safe?
All of our staff have training on the Prevent duty. As with all other safeguarding concerns, if a member of staff is worried about what a child does or says, they have a duty to report it immediately. The Prevent Lead is Mrs Jones, the Headteacher.
Within Oxfordshire Children and Young People’s Services there is a clear procedure for reporting concerns about children who are vulnerable to extremism. If the School has a concern, a referral is made using this procedure
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Prevent Important?
Extremists who recruit young people to take part in inappropriate activities, whether it is violent racist groups or ‘Islamic’ extremism, use the same grooming tactics as other abusers. It is, therefore, essential that we recognise the indicators that may suggest that a child is vulnerable to this approach.
It would be easy to assume that the children at our School are not vulnerable to radicalisation. Although they are unlikley to encounter extremism in their community, they are vulnerable online. In addition, living in a community where children do not mix on a day to day basis with people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds makes it more difficult to ensure that our pupils are accepting of other nationalities, religions or cultures.
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 democracy; the rule of law; and individual liberty and mutual respect; and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.
Isn’t my child too young to learn about extremism?
Prevent 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. We will give children the skills to protect them from any extremist views they may encounter, now or later in their lives.
What can Parents and Carers do?
Talk to your child about the importance of respecting the beliefs and cultures of different people. A powerful way to do this is by providing opportunities for your child to learn about different cultures and beliefs through stories, films, visits, museums and meeting different people.
Help your child to use the internet safely, ensuring that as they get older they are making sensible choices about who they communicate with and what they access.
Talk about political opinions in the news, helping them to recognise the importance of democracy and respecting the opinions of others.
Extremism: vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values such as democracy, the rule of law and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Ideology: a set of beliefs
Terrorism: an action than endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people, causes serious damage to property, or seriously interferes or disrupts an electronic system, and is intended to advance a political, religious or ideological cause
Radicalisation: the process by which a person comes to support extremism and terrorism
Reporting a Concern
If you are a parent, carer or visitor to the School who is concerned about the behaviour or actions of a child or adult in the School, please talk to Mrs Jones, the Prevent Lead, or Miss Fawcett, the Designated Safeguarding Leader. If they are not available, please talk to a teacher who will help you to complete a reporting form.
See our Policies
You will find more details about radicalisation in our Safeguarding Policy. We also have information about spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and British values here.