Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Policy

Mission Statement

Here at St Joseph’s, where every aspect of school life is built upon Gospel Values, we seek to create an atmosphere supported through prayer and worship, whereby everyone who has an interest in our community can feel valued and believe their happiness is the pursuit of all, as we grow closer to Jesus Christ.

Through a curriculum that supports the holistic development of each child by encouraging them to reach their full potential, we will maintain a high quality education, within the resources available, and seek to develop the necessary partnership links with home and parish, so that all are able to participate as members in the wider community.

 

Introduction 

This Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Policy is part of our commitment to keeping our pupils safe. Since the Education and Inspections Act 2006, schools have had a duty to promote community cohesion. Since 2010, when the Government published the Prevent Strategy, there has been an awareness of the specific need to safeguard children, young people and families from violent extremism due to the global growth of extremist viewpoints. . There have also been several occasions both locally and nationally in which extremist groups have attempted to radicalise vulnerable children and young people to hold extreme views including views justifying political, religious, sexist or racist violence, or to steer them into a rigid and narrow ideology that is intolerant of diversity and leaves them vulnerable to future radicalisation.

 

St Joseph’s RC Primary School values freedom of speech and the expression of beliefs / ideology as fundamental rights underpinning our society’s values. Both pupils and teachers have the right to speak freely and voice their opinions. However, freedom comes with responsibility and free speech that is designed to manipulate the vulnerable or that leads to violence and harm of others goes against the moral principles in which freedom of speech is valued. Free speech is not an unqualified privilege; it is subject to laws and policies governing equality, human rights, community safety and community cohesion.

 

St Joseph’s RC Primary School is fully committed to providing a secure environment for pupils, where children feel safe and are kept safe. All adults at the school recognise that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility irrespective of the role they undertake or whether their role has direct contact or responsibility for children or not.

 

This Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Policy is one element within our overall school arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in line with our statutory duties set out at S157 of the Education Act 2002. We have a duty to prepare our pupils for life in multi-cultural modern Britain and to keep them safe. Everyone in our school has the right to learn and work in safety. We will not tolerate bullying of any kind and will challenge derogatory language and behaviour towards others.

 

 

 

Related policies include:

 E-Safety /Acceptable and Responsible Internet Policy

  • Behaviour Policy
  • Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
  • Single Equality Policy
  • Acceptable and Responsible Internet Policy
  • Behaviour and Discipline Policy
  • Staff Code of Conduct
  • Whistleblowing
  • Anti-Bullying Policies ((both schools and that devised by the Anti-Bullying Team)

 

Statutory Duties

 The duty to prevent children and young people being radicalised is set out in the following documents:

 

  • Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015
  • Prevent Duty Guidance 2015
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015

 

Non-statutory Guidance 

  • Promoting fundamental British Values as part of SMSC in schools: DfE Departmental advice for maintained schools 2014

 

Aims and Principles

 St. Joseph’s RC Primary School Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Policy is intended to provide a framework for dealing with issues relating to vulnerability, radicalisation and exposure to extreme views. We recognise that we are well placed to be able to identify safeguarding issues and this policy 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 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 policy guidance swiftly when issues arise.
  • All pupils will understand the dangers of radicalisation and exposure to extremist views at an age appropriate level; building resilience against these 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.

 

The main aims of this policy are to ensure that staff are fully engaged in being vigilant about radicalisation; that they overcome professional disbelief that such issues will not happen here and ensure that we work alongside other professional bodies and agencies to ensure that our pupils are safe from harm.

 

 

School Ethos and Practice

 When operating this Policy, the school uses the following accepted Governmental definition of extremism which is:

 

‘Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs; and/or calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas’.

 

Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.

 

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 children 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, the school will provide a broad and balanced curriculum, delivered by skilled professionals, 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 marginalized.

 

Roles and Responsibilities

 Role of the Governors

 It is the role of Governors to:

  • Ensure that the school meets its statutory duties with regard to preventing radicalisation
  • Challenge the school’s senior management team on the delivery of this policy and monitor its effectiveness, in line with the provisions set out in the DfE guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2015.
  • Ensure that there is a link governor who will liaise with the Headteacher and other staff about issues to do with protecting pupils from radicalisation
  • Review this policy annually in the autumn term of each academic year. Governors may, however, amend and adopt any amendments outside of this timeframe in accordance with any new legislation or guidance.

 

Governors will undertake annual training led by the Designated Safeguarding Lead to ensure that they are clear about their role and the parameters of their responsibilities as Governors, including their statutory safeguarding duties.

 

 Role of the Headteacher

 It is the role of the Headteacher to:

  • Ensure that the school and it’s staff respond to preventing radicalisation on a day-to -day basis
  • Ensure that the school curriculum addresses the issues involved in radicalisation
  • Ensure that staff conduct is consistent with preventing radicalisation

 

Role of Designated Lead

It is the role of the designate safeguarding lead to:

  • Ensure that staff understand the issues of radicalisation, that they are able to recognise the signs of vulnerability or radicalisation and know how to refer their concerns
  • Receive safeguarding concerns about pupils who may be vulnerable to the risk of radicalisation or are showing signs of radicalisation
  • Make referrals to appropriate agencies with regard to concerns about radicalisation
  • Liaise with partners, including the Local Authority and police
  • Report to Governors on these matters

 

Role of Staff

 It is the role of staff to understand the issues of radicalisation, that they are able to recognise the signs of vulnerability or radicalisation and know how to refer their concerns

 

Recognising the indicators of vulnerability to radicalisation

 There is no such thing as a “typical extremist”: those who become involved in extremist actions come from a range of backgrounds and experiences, and most individuals, even those who hold radical views, do not become involved in violent extremist activity.

Pupils may become susceptible to radicalisation through a range of social, personal and environmental factors – it is known that violent extremists exploit vulnerabilities in individuals to drive a wedge between them and their families and communities. There are no known definitive indicators that a young person is vulnerable to radicalisation, but there are a number of signs that together increase the risk and it is vital that school staff are able to recognise these. Signs of vulnerability include:

  • Underachievement
  • Being in possession of extremist literature
  • Poverty
  • Social exclusion
  • Traumatic events
  • Global or national events
  • Religious conversion
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Extremist influences
  • Conflict with family over lifestyle
  • Confused identity
  • Victim or witness to race or hate crimes
  • Rejection by peers, family social groups or faith

 

 Recognising Extremism

 There are a number of behaviours which may indicate a child is at risk of being radicalised or exposed to extreme views. These include:

  • Showing sympathy for extremist causes
  • Making remarks or comments about spending time in the company of other suspected extremists
  • Out of character changes in dress, behaviour and peer relationships, (there are powerful narratives, programmes and networks that young people can come across online, so involvement with particular groups may not be apparent)
  • Possession of materials or symbols associated with an extremist cause
  • Attempts to impose extremist views or practices on others
  • Communications with others that suggest identification with a group, cause or ideology
  • Secretive behaviour
  • Intolerance of difference, including faith, culture, gender, race or sexuality
  • Graffiti, artwork or writing that displays extremist themes
  • Using insulting or derogatory names for another group
  • Increase in prejudice-related incidents committed by that person – these may include:
  • Physical or verbal assault
  • Provocative behaviour
  • Damage to property
  • Derogatory name calling
  • Possession of prejudice-related materials
  • Prejudice related ridicule or name calling
  • Inappropriate forms of address
  • Refusal to co-operate
  • Attempts to recruit to prejudice-related organisations
  • Condoning or supporting violence towards others, especially to other faiths or cultures

 

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 our Behaviour and Discipline Policy for pupils and the Code of Conduct for staff.

 

Staff Training

 We will ensure that all of our staff are equipped to recognise extremism and are skilled and confident enough to challenge it. All staff receive biannual safeguarding training and have annual updates. Staff will be given annual training to help them understand the issues of radicalisation, so that they are able to recognise the signs of vulnerability or radicalisation and know how to refer their concerns. This information will form part of annual safeguarding updates.

 

Referral Process

 Our school is required to identify a Prevent Single Point of Contact (SPOC) who will be the lead within the organisation for safeguarding in relation to protecting individuals from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism. The SPOC for St Joseph’s RC Primary School is Mrs M. Galbraith (also the Designated Safeguarding Lead) and, in her absence, Miss Brown (the Deputy Designated lead)

 

Staff and visitors to the school must refer all concerns about pupils who show signs of vulnerability, radicalisation or at risk from extremism to the SPOC, Mrs Galbraith or Miss Brown using the usual methods for reporting other safeguarding concerns.

 

We will help support pupils who may be vulnerable to such influences as part of our wider safeguarding responsibilities and where there are significant concerns the SPOC/Designated Safeguarding Lead will make a referral to the appropriate body.

 

Curriculum

 We are committed to ensuring our pupils are offered a broad and balanced curriculum that aims to prepare them for life in modern Britain. We encourage our pupils to be inquisitive learners who are open to new experiences and are tolerant of others.

 Our school ethos supports the development of the whole child as a reflective learner within a safe, respectful learning environment. Teaching the schools’ core values alongside the fundamental British values supports quality teaching and learning, whilst making a positive contribution to the development of a just, fair and civil society.

We will also work with local partners, families and communities in our efforts to challenge extremist views and to assist in the broadening of our pupil’s experiences and horizons.

Visitors and the Use of School Premises

 The school encourages the use of external agencies or speakers to enrich the experiences of our pupils. They are made aware of our safeguarding and child protection policies on arrival at the school and given information about what to do if they are concerned about any aspect of child welfare.

 

We undertake due diligence to ensure that visiting speakers are appropriate. They will be subject to safeguarding checks and photo identification. Speakers will be supervised at all times and never allowed to speak to children without a member of staff being present.

 

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 properly embedded in the curriculum and clearly mapped to schemes of work to avoid contradictory messages or duplication.
  • Activities are matched to the needs of pupils
  • Activities are carefully evaluated by the school to ensure that they are effective

 

Staff must not invite speakers into school without first obtaining the permission of the Headteacher. This to be sought by completing the ‘Visitor Request Form’ attached in Appendix 2 and submitted in a timely manner.

 

The school currently has no letting agreements. If any future agreements are made  to allow non-school groups or organisations to use the school premises, appropriate checks will be made before agreeing to any contract. Usage will be monitored and in the event of any behaviour not in keeping with the Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Policy, the police will be notified and the contract terminated.

Internet Safety

 

The Internet provides pupils with access to a wide range of content, some of which is harmful. Extremists use the Internet, including social media, to share their messages. The Local Authority provides filtering systems at our school to block inappropriate content, including extremist content.

 

If staff or pupils find unblocked extremist content they must report it immediately to the Designated or Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead.

 

Pupils will receive E-Safety training and information will be provided for parents via briefing sessions and the school website.

 

The E-Safety/Acceptable and Responsible Internet Policy refers to preventing radicalisation and related extremist content. Pupils and staff know how to report internet content that is inappropriate or of concern.

 

Whistleblowing

 

Where there are concerns of extremism or radicalisation pupils and staff will be encouraged to make use of our internal systems to whistle blow or raise any issue in confidence.

Please refer to the separate Whistleblowing Policy.

 

Recruitment

 

The arrangements for recruiting all staff to our school will follow government guidance on safer recruitment best practice in education settings, including, but not limited to, ensuring that DBS checks are always made at the appropriate level, that references are always received and checked and that we complete and maintain a Single Central Record of such vetting checks.

 

We will apply safer recruitment best practice principles and sound employment practice in general and in doing so will deny opportunities for inappropriate recruitment or advancement. We will be alert to the possibility that persons may seek to gain positions within our school so as to unduly influence our schools character and ethos. We are aware that such persons seek to limit the opportunities for our pupils thereby rendering them vulnerable to extremist views and radicalisation as a consequence.

 

Therefore, by adhering to safer recruitment best practice techniques and by ensuring that there is an ongoing culture of vigilance within our school and staff team we will minimise the opportunities for extremist views to prevail.

 

Policy Adoption, Monitoring and Review

 

This policy will be reviewed annually as part of the overall Child Protection and Safeguarding policy review prior to the start of a new academic year, but may adopt any amendments outside of this timeframe in accordance with any new legislation or guidance.

 

Parents/carers will be issued with a hard copy of this Policy on request. This Policy will also be made available to parents/carers via the school’s website.

 

 

 

Policy approved by Governors 18th  November 2015

Date of Next Review November 2016

 

 

Appendix 1 – Dealing with Referrals

 

We are aware of the potential indicating factors that a child is vulnerable to being radicalised or exposed to extreme views, including peer pressure, influence form other people or the internet, bullying, crime and anti-social behaviour and personal or political grievances.

 

In the event of prejudicial behaviour, the following systems will be followed:

  • All incidents of prejudicial behaviour to be reported to the designated safeguarding lead or deputy designated safeguarding lead
  • All incidents will be fully investigated and records kept in line with other safeguarding concerns
  • Parents/carers will be contacted and incidents discussed in detail, aiming to identify motivating factors, any changes in circumstances at home, parental views of the incident and to assess whether the incident is serious enough to warrant a further referral
  • The designated/deputy designated lead will follow up any referrals after a period of four weeks to assess if there is a change in behaviour and/or attitude. A further meeting would be held if there is not a significant positive change in behaviour
  • Serious Concerns to reported via one of the following:

1. Prevent Team

Northumbria Police

Ring 101 ask for extension 63108/63001

2. Local Contact – Jane Hebbard

Prevent Co-ordination Lead

0191 561 4587

Jane.hebbard@sunderland.gov.uk

 

Appendix 2 – Visitor Request Form

Please click to download the Visitor Request Form