Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2016) says that protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of schools' and colleges' wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse. As of July 2015, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (HMG, 2015) placed a new duty on schools and other education providers. Under section 26 of the Act, schools are required, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent Duty.
The Education Lead for PREVENT in Essex is Jo Barclay, Safeguarding Adviser to Schools. There is a multi-agency PREVENT strategic group in Essex which meets quarterly and provides strategic oversight, direction and co-ordination of the activities that deliver Prevent work - this is attended by the Education Lead. The Essex SET PREVENT Policy is a guide for local partnerships and agencies in Southend, Essex and Thurrock in preventing radicalisation.
If a school has concerns about radicalisation or extremism, or if they feel a child is at risk of (or subject to harm) because of these issues, they should contact the Children and Families Hub in the same way as for any other safeguarding concern.
Essex Channel Panel
Channel is a national programme which focuses on providing support at an early stage to people who are identified as being vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism. It provides a mechanism for schools to make referrals if they are concerned that an individual might be vulnerable to radicalisation. The multi-agency Channel Panel in Essex meets on a six weekly basis and is attended by the Education Lead along with senior managers from other key agencies and Essex Police Prevent team.
To refer someone to Channel, a referral form should be completed and returned to Essex Police (firstname.lastname@example.org) - any concern should be discussed with the Children and Families Hub in the first instance though. Accepted referrals will be considered at the next available meeting.