The PREVENT Strategy- what is it? well, in short,HM Government has published guidance for authorities, including schools, on their responsibilities under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, which came into effect on 1 July 2015. Under the Act, schools and other authorities have a duty to “have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.
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 the extreme right wing, violent groups and other causes.
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 the same way we protect them from other dangers. Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues so 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.
- Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity.
- Challenging prejudices and racist comments.
- Developing critical thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity.
- Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, as well as British values such as democracy.
We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils. Different schools will carry out the Prevent duty in different ways, depending on the age of the children and the needs of the community.
Frequently Asked Questions
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:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty and mutual respect
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Isn’t my child too young to learn about extremism?
The Prevent strategy 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 misogynistic 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.
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 – a violent action against people or property, designed to create fear and advance a political, religious or ideological cause.
Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support extremism and terrorism.
Where to go for more information
Contact the school
If you have any questions or concerns about the Prevent strategy and what it means for your child, please do not hesitate to contact the school.
The following sources may also be useful for further information:
Prevent duty guidance: for England and Wales, HM Government
Frequently asked questions, Prevent For Schools
What is Prevent? Let’s Talk About It
Diary of Events
Autumn 2015- The Prevent strategy came into force in schools.
Autumn 2015- Mr Redfern attended Prevent training in Wakefield. This mean that he assumed the role of 'Prevent' leader in school.
Autumn 2015- Mr Redfern led an assembly, with parents present, during which he summarized the 'Prevent' message. This assembly took place with all children, from upper foundation onwards, present. In this assembly we talked about the commandment ‘Love one another’; this is essentially what the Prevent duty is all about. At St Joseph’s we already work hard to ensure that our children develop a respect for all, regardless of faith, skin colour, cultural background, ability in class, special needs, home life etc.
Prevent Powerpoint-This powerpoint was shared with all children and parents on 16th October 2015.We also shared a message about the strategy on the newsletter on the same day.
Summer 2016- The school invited Mr Tim Pinto, Prevent trainer, into school to work with all staff on discussing the strategy and receiving bespoke and very frank training. The staff found it very useful in ensuring that they had the key messages of prevent embedded. A register was taken to ensure that staff who didn't/couldn't attend receive some other form of training.
October 7th 2016- Mr Redfern reminded the staff, in the weekly staff meeting, of the 'Prevent' poster on the staff room wall and the importance in ensuring that all staff have received the message that prevent is part of our school life.
October 11th 2016- The weekly staff newsletter, emailed to ALL staff, contained a reminder of the Prevent message. This email was ready by all staff and evidence of this was obtained.
Autumn 2016-All staff began a programme of completing an online safeguarding course. One element of this course focuses on the Prevent strategy.
October 11th 2016- The school newsletter contained key information about the strategy.
January 2017- The head teacher, as 'Prevent' lead, undergoes on line training for 'Prevent' with a view to rolling this out to all staff over the next two terms.
January 2017- The 'Prevent' policy goes to governors for approval.
March 2017- Reminder assembly for all classes. What is 'Prevent'?
June 2017- Tim Pinto in again. Whilst the main thrust was 'E-Safety' he touched on online radicalization with some of the older classes.
September 2017- Staff complete online prevent training.
October 2017-Reminder assembly for all classes. What is 'Prevent'?