WHAT IS THE PREVENT STRATEGY?
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people supporting any extreme cause or becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist 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 have a duty to safeguard young people from radicalisation and extremism. This means we have a responsibility to protect young people from extremism and violent views the same way we keep them safe through E-safety or protect them from drugs.
Importantly, we can provide a safe place to discuss these issues so they learn how to protect themselves.
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.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN AT OUR SCHOOL?
Many of the things we already do at Barrs Court Primary School, including the clear teaching of our ethos and values, help our children become positive, happy members of society. Our curriculum and a variety of school activities also contribute to the Prevent strategy. At Barrs Court Primary School we:
We will also protect young people 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 who comes into school to work with pupils.
IS EXTREMISM REALLY A RISK IN OUR AREA?
Yes: the internet reaches everywhere. Extremism can take many forms, including political or religious extremism. Extreme views are often promoted online and although our E-safety teaching repeatedly shows children the dangers of talking to people whom they do not know; in real life extreme views are often spread gradually through online chat, which at first appears harmless and friendly. Such forums can be very attractive to children whose self-esteem is not high as they can be easily groomed to believe that are talking to similarly aged children, who may in fact, be adults with a variety of dangerous motives for befriending children. These motives may include sexual predation or the spreading of an extremist viewpoint. We will teach children ways to keep safe online and to protect them from any extremist views they may encounter, now or later in their lives.
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:
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO BARRS COURT PRIMARY SCHOOL?
At Barrs Court Primary School we are committed to upholding and giving students the opportunity to demonstrate their British values of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith. Students are able to explore these through our values, assemblies, extra-curricular opportunities and through other aspects of the curriculum. Through modelling and encouraging pupils to live these values, we endeavour to enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge and self-esteem and self-confidence.
The school is committed to establishing a strong ethos supported by effective relationships throughout the school. All teachers aim to give pupils the opportunity to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
ISN’T MY CHILD TOO YOUNG TO LEARN ABOUT EXTREMISM?
The Prevent strategy is not just about discussing extremism, which may not always be appropriate for younger pupils. It is also about teaching children values such as fairness, teamwork and respect. The school will make sure any discussions are suitable for the age and maturity of the pupils involved. If you have any questions or queries, 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