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. There have 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. Mary’s the Mount School values freedom of speech and the expression of beliefs/ideology as fundamental rights underpinning our society’s values. Both students 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. Mary’s the Mount School is committed to providing a secure environment for pupils, where children and young people 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/S175 of the Education Act 2002.
Our school’s Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Policy also draws upon the guidance produced by the Walsall Local Safeguarding Children Board; DfE Guidance “Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2015”, HM government document “Prevent strategy: A guide for local partners in England” and the “Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015”.
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 contains a duty on specified authorities, which includes all schools including academies, free schools, maintained schools and studio schools to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. The new legislation will be measured through various inspection frameworks, with schools and Children Services measured through OFSTED. The government will be producing guidance to help schools deliver the required standards (issued under section 29 of the Act).
Niall Markham is the Prevent Coordinator in Walsall and offers support and challenge in relation to the Prevent agenda. To contact Niall Markham please call 01922 655970 or email Niall.Markahm@walsall.gov.uk.
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. Mary’s the Mount School is Mr John Atkins.
The Department for Education has set up a helpline for teachers who have questions and/or concerns about extremism.
Teachers can call: 0207 340 7264 or email: email@example.com.
HO Foreign Travel Advice
How social media is used to encourage travel to Syria and Iraq
Promoting British Values through SMSC
Tackling extremism in the UK - Task Force report (see pages 5 – 7)
Prevent Duty (new guidance and consultations doc)
Keeping Children Safe in Education July 2015
St. Mary's the Mount Catholic School Prevent Policy
DfE Promoting Fundamental British Values SMSC in Schools Nov 2014