DfE - THE PREVENT DUTY: Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers (July 2015)
The Department for Education has issued the departmental advice below to help recipients understand the implications of the Prevent Duty.
The publication can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protecting-children-from-radicalisation-the-prevent-duty
As identified in the advice, 'Schools and childcare providers should have clear procedures in place for protecting children at risk of radicalisation. These procedures may be set out in existing safeguarding policies. It is not necessary for schools and childcare settings to have distinct policies on implementing the Prevent duty. General safeguarding principles apply to keeping children safe from the risk of radicalisation as set out in the relevant statutory guidance, Working together to safeguard children and Keeping children safe in education.'
DEDICATED HELPLINE FOR SCHOOL STAFF AND GOVERNORS (July 2015)
As identified in the above departmental advice, the DfE has recently launched a dedicated helpline for school staff and governors wishing to report a concern directly (Note: The helpline is not intended for use in emergency situations). Information on what to do if you have a concern can be found in the Departmental Advice publication above.
LAUNCH OF ‘E ‘RESOURCES FOR KS 3&4 - TERRORISM AND EXTREMISM.
In 2008, the then Department for Children, Schools and Families launched ‘ Learning Together to be Safe – a toolkit to help schools contribute to the prevention of violent extremism. The body of work Nationally around is known as ‘The Prevent Strategy’ and this forms part of the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy known as CONTEST. The aim of ‘Prevent’ is to stop people becoming or supporting terrorists and to do this by challenging ideologies, protecting vulnerable individuals and supporting institutions, such as schools.
When the toolkit was originally launched, Lancashire Secondary schools were invited to some seminars, held in Preston, to seek their views. Research was also conducted with Independent Schools. The feedback was that the toolkit was not really a toolkit i.e. there were no actual resources to use, some teachers felt lacking in confidence to deal with these sensitive topics, there were concerns about where these subjects fitted into the demands of the curriculum and discussions on how ‘Prevent’ could be covered within safeguarding frameworks. Some schools felt that related issues such as diversity, citizenship and discussion of events occurring nationally and globally were already covered particularly within the PHSE/SEAL/ECM agendas and a few felt that’ Prevent’ was not for them.
A ‘Lancashire Prevent Education’ group was formed from relevant partners initially led by the Constabulary but now by education. The group was assisted by some willing schools who offered to support this work and look at the issues involved locally. Since that time, a number of resources have been developed by Lancashire Constabulary, partners and providers and these have been trialled by some ‘Champion Schools’. The products were initially launched in a hard copy resource folder, with DVD’s inside, for North West schools but these have not been universally available for schools to access.
On 26th April 2012, there was an e-launch of the resources. Invitations were sent out via LCC and the Unitary Authorities. This launch gave schools a chance to see the resources first hand, meet colleagues from the Department for Education and hear what the new Teaching Standards and Ofsted have to say on these topics but more importantly, there was a chance to speak to some of the ‘Prevent Champion’ schools in Lancashire who have been working with this agenda and share their experiences.
Quote from the Toolkit:-
‘Extremists of all persuasions try to paint the world as black and white, accentuating division and difference, and exploiting fears based on ignorance or prejudice.
Education can be a powerful weapon. against this, equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and reflex to think for themselves, to challenge and to debate; and giving young people the opportunity to learn about different cultures and faiths and, crucially, to gain an understanding of the values we share. Exploring ideas, developing a sense of identity and forming views are a normal part of growing up.
Schools can support young people in this: providing a safe environment for discussing controversial issues and helping young people understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making. We need to encourage young people to express their views but also to appreciate the impact their views can have on others, to take responsibility for their actions and to understand that the use of violence to further any cause is criminal.
We also need to recognise that, while it remains very rare for school age children to become involved in extremist activity to the point of committing criminal acts, young people can be exposed to extremist influences or prejudiced views, including via the internet, from an early age. As with other forms of criminality or risk of harm, early intervention is always preferable. Schools, working with other local partners, families and communities, can help support pupils who may be vulnerable as part of wider safeguarding responsibilities.’