Keeping Children Safe in Education (DfE, 2019) 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 Manager for Schools and Early Years. 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.
Action Counters Terrorism (ACT)
With the terror threat becoming increasingly complex and varied, police are calling on communities to act on their instincts to help prevent atrocities taking place in the UK and overseas and have developed a new campaign to progress this work. Further information and resources are available here
- citizenAID™: a simple, logical system of immediate actions. It is designed to guide the public to react safely, to pass effective messages to the emergency services, to prioritise the injured and to give life-saving first aid.
- The 'Trust Me' resource has been created with teachers in
mind after hearing from schools that they wanted a resource which would start
the conversations around extremism and extreme online content: Child
Net / Trust me.
- The DfE has launched a new website educate against hate which gives parents, teachers and school leaders practical advice on protecting children from extremism and radicalisation.
- Interfaith Explorers - A free online learning resource, supported by UNESCO, which helps pupils understand and respect cultural and religious diversity.
- Let's Talk About It (LTAI) - An initiative designed to provide practical help and guidance in order to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
- Safeguarding and Radicalisation (DfE, 2017): The DfE commissioned this research to develop a deeper understanding of how Local Authorities were responding to radicalisation
- This online learning offers an introduction to the Prevent duty, and explains how it aims to safeguard vulnerable people from being radicalised.
The PSHE Association has produced guidance for a 'one-off' lesson plan in response to a terrorist incident: A generic framework for discussing a terrorist attack (PSHE, 2016)
The DfE has worked
with the National Autistic Society to update their safeguarding guidance to