The Role of Prevent in Schools
The government’s official definition of Prevent Duty is the legal obligation of schools to provide “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. Prevent has a helpline which allows members of the public to express concern about people who have been subject to and embracing of extremist opinions.
In addition to teachers’ safeguarding training, Prevent training is meant to alert teachers to the possibilities of “non-violent extremism”. Warning signs such as withdrawal from social circles, abnormal behaviour or changes in vocabulary are common amongst young people. Many teachers are aware of these indicators already and are always on the lookout for signs of stress in their pupils.
Current school guidelines dictate that schools must “actively promote” fundamental British values of democracy, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance towards those with different beliefs. Prevent doesn’t work to create extra safeguarding measures for teachers. It is more about identifying that there are newer dangers that young people face, and encouraging them to learn that these dangers must be combatted.
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Radicalisation – The action or process of causing someone to adopt radical positions on political or social issues.
Terrorism – The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.