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Preventing Extremism & Radicalisation Policy

Barrow U.R.C Primary School - Preventing Extremism & Radicalisation Policy

Introduction

Barrow U.R.C Primary School is committed to providing a secure environment for pupils, where learners feel safe and are kept safe. All adults at Barrow recognise that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility irrespective of the role they undertake or whether their role has direct contact or responsibility for learners or not.

‘Safeguarding vulnerable people from radicalisation is no different from safeguarding them from other forms of harm’ (Home Office, Prevent Strategy – June 2015)

In adhering to this policy, and the procedures therein, staff and visitors will contribute to Barrow School’s delivery of the outcomes to all learners, as set out in s10 (2) of the Children’s Act 2004. This Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Safeguarding Policy is one element within our overall arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of all learners in line with our statutory duties set out at s175 of the Education Act 2002.

Our school’s Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Safeguarding Policy also draws upon the guidance contained in the DfE publication "Keeping Learners safe in Education, 2014", and specifically DCSF Resources "Learning Together to be Safe, "Prevent: Resources Guide", "Tackling Extremism in the UK", DfE’s "Teaching Approaches that help build resilience to Extremism among Young People", Peter Clarke’s Report (July 2014), "Keeping Children Safe in Education" (March 2015), the "Counter-Terrorism and Security Act" (2015) and the "Prevent Duty" (June 2015).

We recognise that the governing body has a responsibility to pay ‘due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism’ (Counter Terrorism and Security Act, 2015) and ensure the school has a ‘clear approach to implementing the Prevent duty and keeping children and learners safe from the dangers of radicalisation and extremism’.

 

Links to other policies

The Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Policy links to the following Barrow Primary School policies;

 Child Protection policy

 Equal Opportunity Policy

 Anti-bullying Policy

 E-Safety Policy

Objectives

The Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Policy is intended to provide a framework for dealing with issues relating to vulnerability, radicalisation and exposure to extreme views. There are different forms of extremist organisations in the UK and the world, ie – ISIL (Islamic State), Al-Qaeda, Boko Harram, British Defence League, Animal Rights extremist groups such as SPEAK, Irish Republican Army (IRA), Anti-Abortion groups, to name a few.

We recognise that we are well placed to be able to identify safeguarding issues linked to the dangers of extremist views and this policy clearly sets out how the school will deal with such incidents and identifies how the curriculum and ethos underpins our actions.

The objectives are that:

  • All governors, teachers, teaching assistants and non-teaching staff will have an understanding of what radicalisation and extremism are is and why we need to be vigilant in school.
  • All governors, teachers, teaching assistants and non-teaching staff will know what the school policy is on tackling extremism and radicalisation and will follow the policy guidance swiftly when issues arise.
  • All members of staff are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and respond by following whole school safeguarding procedures with immediate effect.
  • All pupils will understand the dangers of radicalisation and exposure to extremist views; learning about key British values to build resilience against these views and knowing what to do if they experience them.
  • All parents/carers and pupils will know that the school has policies in place to keep pupils safe from harm and that the school regularly reviews its systems to ensure they are appropriate and effective.

Definitions

When operating this policy Barrow Primary School uses the following accepted Governmental definition of radicalisation and extremism which is:

Radicalisation – ‘the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism’ (Prevent Strategy)

Extremism – ‘vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect tolerance of different faith and beliefs; and/or calls for the death of members in our armed forces, whether in this country or oversees’ (Prevent)

 

Ethos and Practice

There is no place for extremist views of any kind in our school, whether from internal sources – pupils, staff or governors, or external sources – school community, external agencies or individuals. Our pupils see our school as a safe place where they can explore controversial issues safely and where our teachers encourage and facilitate this – we have a duty to ensure this happens.

As a school we recognise that extremism and exposure to extremist materials and influences can lead to poor outcomes for pupils and so should be addressed as a safeguarding concern as set out in this policy. We also recognise that if we fail to challenge extremist views we are failing to protect our pupils.

Extremists of all persuasions aim to develop destructive relationships between different communities by promoting division, fear and mistrust of others based on ignorance or prejudice and thereby limiting the life chances of young people. Education is a powerful weapon against this; equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and critical thinking to challenge and debate in an informed way.

Therefore at Barrow Primary School we will provide a broad and balanced curriculum so that our pupils are enriched, understand and become tolerant of difference and diversity and also to ensure that they thrive, feel valued and not marginalised.

Furthermore at Barrow Primary School we are aware that young people can be exposed to extremist influences or prejudiced views from an early age which emanate from a variety of sources and media, including via the internet and at times pupils may themselves reflect or display views that may be discriminatory, prejudiced or extremist, including using derogatory language. As part of our whole school e-safety programme we highlight the potential risks pupils may face in relation to on-line radicalisation and encourage students to report any concerns they may have for themselves or other students to Barrow Primary School staff members.

Any prejudice, discrimination or extremist views, including derogatory language, displayed by pupils or staff will always be challenged and where appropriate dealt with in line with Barrow Primary School protocol.

There is no single way of identifying a pupil who is likely to be susceptible to terrorist ideology. As part of wider safeguarding responsibilities staff will be alert to:

  • Disclosures by pupils of their exposure to the extremist actions, views or materials of others outside of school such as in their homes or community groups, especially where pupils have not actively sought these out.
  • Graffiti symbols, writing or art work promoting extremist messages or images
  • Pupils accessing extremist material online, including through social networking sites
  • Distributing extremist literature and documentation
  • Parental reports of changes in behaviour, friendship or actions and requests for assistance
  • Partner schools, local authority services and police reports of issues affecting pupils in other schools or settings
  • Pupils voicing opinions drawn from extremist ideologies and narratives
  • Changes in behaviour which could indicate that they are in need of help or protection
  • Use of extremist or ‘hate’ terms to exclude others or incite violence
  • Intolerance of difference, whether secular or religious or, in line within our equalities policy, views based on, but not exclusive to, gender, disability, homophobia, race, colour or culture
  • Attempts to impose extremist views or practices on others
  • Anti-Western or Anti-British views

 

Use of extremist language:

- ‘Dawlah’ – term used by ISIL to refer to the ‘Islamic state’

- ‘Jihad’ – means ‘struggle’ or ‘violence’

- ‘Caliphate’ – ISIL supporters describe the territory they control in Iraq / Syria

- ‘Mujahid’ – someone who wants to fight as part of the ‘Jihad’

- ‘Shahada’ – refers to someone considered to be a martyr

- ‘Kuffar’ – a term used by ISIL to describe non-Muslims

- ‘Ummah’ – the phrase is used by ISIL to refer to the ‘world community of Muslims’

- ‘Rafidha’ – word used by ISIL to refer to those who refuse to accept the Islamic state

 

We recognise that pupils in vulnerable social and domestic situations (mental health issues, single parent families, involvement in gangs) may be at greater risk of radicalisation than other pupils. Information is shared amongst all interested parties on targeted pupils and appropriate external support accessed as necessary.

In conclusion we will closely follow any locally agreed procedure as set out by the Local Authority and criteria for safeguarding individuals vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation.

 

Ethos and Approach

We will all strive to eradicate the myths and assumptions that can lead to some young people becoming alienated and disempowered, especially where the narrow approaches learners may experience elsewhere may make it harder for them to challenge or question these radical influences. This guidance and support will be delivered through the whole school curriculum. We will ensure that all of our support and approaches will help our pupils build resilience to extremism and give them a positive sense of identity through the development of critical thinking skills. We will develop strategies and staff training to ensure that all our staff are equipped to recognise extremism and are skilled and confident enough to challenge it.

We will be flexible enough to adapt our teaching approaches, as appropriate and address specific issues so as to become even more relevant to the current issues of extremism and radicalisation. We will facilitate the following principles:

  • Making a connection with young people through positive engagement and a pupil centred approach.
  • Facilitating a ‘safe space’ for dialogue to ensure pupils feel safe and comfortable talking about their feelings and views on a wide range of social, political, religious and cultural issues.
  • Equipping our pupils with the appropriate skills, knowledge, understanding and awareness for resilience.

 

Therefore this approach will be embedded within the ethos of our school so that pupils know and understand what safe and acceptable behaviour is in the context of extremism and radicalisation. This will work in conjunction with our schools approach to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils. We recognise the importance of guiding students to be intolerant of all forms of extremism, ie – violent animal rights extremism, political extremism.

Our goal is to build mutual respect and understanding and to promote the use of dialogue not violence as a form of conflict resolution. We will achieve this by using an approach that includes:

  •  Citizenship
  •  Open discussion and debate
  •  Work on anti-violence and a restorative approach to conflict resolution
  •  Targeted programmes led by external providers
  •  Cross-curricular thematic programmes
  •  Annual audits of curriculum provision to ensure the values of democracy and individual liberty are promoted throughout the wider curriculum

We will also work with local partners, families and communities in our effort to ensure our school understands and embraces our local context and values in challenging extremist views and to assist in the broadening of our pupils’ experiences and horizons. We will help support pupils who may be vulnerable to such influences as part of our wider safeguarding responsibilities and where we believe appropriate, a learner is offered mentoring. Additionally in such instances our school will seek external support from the Local Authority and/or local partnership structures working to prevent extremism.

 

Curriculum

At Barrow Primary School we will promote the values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs. We will teach and encourage pupils to respect one another and to respect and tolerate difference, especially those of a different faith or no faith. It is indeed our most fundamental responsibility to keep our pupils safe and prepare them for life in modern multi-cultural Britain and globally.

Students at Barrow Primary School come from all over the world and we aim to instil the British values outlined by our Government in all students, so that they all understand what the people of our society see as being important and what we feel is right and wrong. Through our curriculum we actively promote a culture of mutual respect and tolerance, democracy, the rule of law, equal opportunities and freedom. British values permeate throughout the school curriculum and support the development of the whole child. We embrace the belief that at the heart of a modern ever changing, multi-cultural and multi-faith community is the acceptance of key British values which it is its responsibility to promote. In doing so, our learners will be able to grow as individuals and citizens in the community and country in which they live. We believe that this is something not only achieved through the curriculum but through the school’s core values and ethos as well as its provision for students beyond formal lessons.

Therefore by delivering a broad and balanced curriculum augmented by the use of external sources where appropriate, we will strive to ensure our pupils recognise risk and build resilience to manage any such risk themselves where appropriate to their age and ability but also help pupils develop the critical thinking skills needed to engage in informed debate.

Our curriculum and ethos reflects the government’s definition of "British Values" in its "Prevent Strategy":

 

Democracy

The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced at Barrow Primary School, with democracy processes being used for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections being held for the School Council. The principle of democracy is also explored in the History and Religious Studies curriculum as well as in assemblies.

 

The rule of law

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Barrow Primary School.

Students are taught the rules and expectations of the school which are highlighted by the school rules and student expectations. Students are taught the value and the reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.

 

Individual liberty

At Barrow Primary School, students are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Our staff educate and provide boundaries for students to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education.

Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety.

 

Mutual Respect

Respect is a strong part of Barrow Primary School and is part of its values. Students learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect and this is reiterated through its teaching and learning environments.

Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum by providing the opportunity for students to express their views in a safe environment

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

This is achieved though equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving the opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. Students are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the school and celebrate festivities throughout the calendar year.

 

The use of ICT

We strongly recognise the risk posed to our students of on-line radicalisation, as terrorist organisations like ISIL seek to radicalize young people through the use of social media and the internet. Research shows that ISIL propaganda includes images and videos that present the group as an exciting alternative to life in the West and that it uses its social media to encourage supporters to share the material with a wider online audience. ISIL promotes an image of success online in order to attract young people. The propaganda claims it is the duty of Muslin men and women in the West to join the fight against the West. The seriousness of the potential online threat is highlighted by the fact that 95,000 pieces of terrorist content has been removed from the internet since 2010.

To combat this online threat we filter and monitor student online behaviour. The Headteacher and DSL are notified of any inappropriate behaviour and appropriate steps are taken as required. This may involve speaking to the student, contacting parents, setting up a mentoring programme or making a direct referral to the CTU / MASH team based on the seriousness of the incident.

 

Use of External Agencies and Speakers

At Barrow Primary School we encourage the use of external agencies or speaker to enrich the experiences of our learners.

We will positively vet those external agencies, individuals or speakers who engage to provide such learning opportunities or experiences for our pupils. Such vetting is to ensure that we do not unwittingly use agencies that contradict each other with their messages or that we are inconsistent with, or are in complete opposition to, the school’s values and ethos. We must be aware that in some instances the work of external agencies may not directly be connected with the rest of the school curriculum so we need to ensure that this work is of benefit to pupils.

Our school will assess the suitability and effectiveness of input from external agencies or individuals to ensure that:

  •  Any messages communicated to pupils are consistent with the ethos of the school and do not marginalise any communities, groups or individuals
  •  Any messages do not seek to glorify criminal activity or violent extremism or seek to radicalise pupils through extreme or narrow views of faith, religion or culture or other ideologies
  •  Activities are matched to the needs of pupils
  •  Activities are carefully evaluated by the school to ensure that they are effective

We recognise, however, that the ethos of our school is to encourage learners to understand opposing views and ideologies, appropriate to their age, understanding and abilities, and to be able to actively engage with them in informed debate, and we may use external agencies or speakers to facilitate and support this.

 

Safeguarding

Please refer to our Safeguarding Policy for the full procedural framework on our Safeguarding duties.

Although serious incidents involving radicalisation have not occurred at Barrow Primary School to date, it is important for us to be constantly vigilant and remain fully informed about the issues which affect the local area in which we teach. Staff are reminded to suspend any ‘professional disbelief’ that instances of radicalisation ‘could not happen here’ and to be ‘professionally inquisitive’ where concerns arise, referring any concerns through the appropriate channels.

Staff at Barrow Primary School will be alert to the fact that whilst Extremism and Radicalisation is broadly a safeguarding issue there may be some instances where a child or pupils may be at direct risk of harm or neglect. For example; this could be due to a pupil displaying risky behaviours in terms of the activities they are involved in or the groups they are associated with or staff be aware of information about a pupil’s family that may equally place a young person at risk of harm. (These examples are for illustration and are not definitive or exhaustive).

Therefore all adults working in Barrow Primary School (including visiting staff, volunteers, contractors, and students on placement) are required to report instances where they believe a young person may be at risk of harm, linked to radicalisation, to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The DSL will follow up these concerns by contacting the MASH team or the Counter Terrorist Team to seek further advice and guidance. The school will only notify parents of these concerns if this course of action is approved by the external agencies listed above. The school will only speak with the young person about the concern based on the advice given by MASH or other organisation.

 

Engagement with Parents / Carers

We will engage with parents / carers as part of our work as we recognise the important role they have in helping us to spot signs of radicalisation. If a safeguarding concern is referred by another student or a member of staff, the DSL will contact the parents / carers immediately to invite them into school to discuss the concerns. This will, however, depend on the nature and seriousness of the referral. We will support and advise families who raise concerns and signpost them to the appropriate support services.

Guidance for parents / carers is accessible on the websites of FAST, CHANNEL and THINKUKNOW.

 

Training

Whole school in-service training on Safeguarding will be organised for staff and governors on an annual basis and will comply with the prevailing arrangements agreed by the Local Authority. The annual staff training now provides specific guidance on extremism and radicalisation and its safeguarding implications.

The Designated Safeguarding Lead will attend PREVENT training courses as necessary and the appropriate inter-agency safeguarding training organised by the Local Authority at least every two years. Again this will include training on extremism and radicalisation and its safeguarding implications. The DSL will also access support for the on-line Channel programme and make use of the case studies displayed to develop training support for staff and whole school interventions.

Information is provided to staff as part of our safeguarding training programme (PREVENT) to allow staff to identify possible changes in student behaviour that may suggest the student has become influenced by extremist ideology. This may include changing their style of dress, particularly in a sixth form, loss of contact with traditional groups of friends, using insulting or derogatory language to describe groups opposed by extremists or evidence the student may have recently joined a gang in the local community. Annual staff training is delivered by the DSL, who has undertaken PREVENT training, and followed up with another CPD session later in the year to reinforce the ley messages and update on any national developments

Staff training will also provide staff with information on factors that may make young people want to be radicalised, ie – status, identity, sense of belonging, neglect in the family, re-dress some form of injustice, excitement, adventure, political motivation, moral motivation, family / other friends involved in extremist activities. Training will also focus significantly on the possible impact of extremist views on the young person once they have been radicalised, ie – over-identification so that extremist views become the norm, development of an ‘us and them’ thinking and dehumanising the perceived enemy.

 

Role of Governing Body

The Governing Body of our school will support the ethos and values of our school and will support the school in tackling extremism and radicalisation. In line with Recommendation 13 of Peter Clarke’s report details of our Governing Body will be published on our school website to promote transparency.

In line with the provisions set out in the DfE guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2014’ the governing body will challenge the school’s senior management team on the delivery of this policy and monitor its effectiveness.

Governors will review this policy annually and may amend and adopt it outside of this timeframe in accordance with any new legislation or guidance or in response to any quality assurance recommendations pertaining to the delivery of this policy

 

Policy Adaptation, Monitoring and review

This policy was considered and adopted by the Governing body in line with their overall duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils as set out in the DfE guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (March 2015), the "Counter-Terrorism and Security Act" (2015) and the "Prevent Duty" guidance (June 2015)

Parents will be issued with a hard copy of this policy on request.

At Barrow Primary School the Designated Safeguarding Lead will actively evaluate the effectiveness of this policy by monitoring the staff group’s understanding and application of the procedures within this policy as their overall duty to safeguard pupils. The policy, in line with updated DfE and Local Authority guidance, will be reviewed on an annual basis.

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