WHAT IS ‘EXTREMISM’?
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR SCHOOLS TO DISCUSS EXTREMISM?
BENEFITS FOR SCHOOLS?
WHY DO SOME OF THE RESOURCES REQUIRE PASSWORD ACCESS?
COLLEGE OF POLICING E-LEARNING PACKAGE (SPRING 2015)
THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN RADICALISATION - BRIEFING NOTE FOR SCHOOLS (JULY 2015)
Extremist organisations can develop and popularise ideas which create an environment conducive to violent extremism and terrorism.
"In assessing the drivers of and pathways to radicalisation, the line between extremism and terrorism is often blurred. Terrorist groups of all kinds very often draw upon ideologies which have been developed, disseminated and popularised by extremist organisations that appear to be non-violent (such as groups which neither use violence nor specifically and openly endorse its use by others)". [Prevent Strategy 5.34]
"Terrorist groups can take up and exploit ideas which have been developed and sometimes popularised by extremist organisations which operate legally in this country. This has significant implications for the scope of our Prevent strategy. Evidence also suggests that some (but by no means all) of those who have been radicalised in the UK had previously participated in extremist organisations" (Prevent Strategy - opening summary to chapter 5)
Education can be a powerful tool, equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and reflex to think for themselves, to challenge and to debate; and giving young people the opportunity to learn about different cultures and faiths and, to gain an understanding of the values we share. Exploring ideas, developing a sense of identity and forming views are a normal part of growing up.
Schools can support young people in this: providing a safe environment for discussing controversial issues and helping young people understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making. We need to encourage young people to express their views but also to appreciate the impact their views can have on others, to take responsibility for their actions and to understand that the use of violence to further any cause is criminal. "We believe that schools of all kinds can play a role in enabling young people to explore issues like terrorism and the wider use of violence in a considered and informed way. According to a survey by the UK Youth Parliament in August 2008, 94% of young people said they thought schools were the best environment in which to discuss terrorism. Schools can facilitate understanding of wider issues within the context of learning about the values on which our society is founded and our system of democratic government. These are important for reasons which go far beyond Prevent but they connect to the Prevent agenda" (Prevent Strategy).
We also need to recognise that, young people can be exposed to extremist influences or prejudiced views, particular those via the internet and other social media. "Schools can help to protect children from extremist and violent views in the same ways that they help to safeguard children from drugs, gang violence or alcohol. Schools’ work on Prevent needs to be seen in this context. The purpose must be to protect children from harm and to ensure that they are taught in a way that is consistent with the law and our values. Awareness of Prevent and the risks it is intended to address are both vital. Staff can help to identify, and to refer to the relevant agencies, children whose behaviour suggests that they are being drawn into terrorism or extremism" (Prevent Strategy)
Schools, working with other local partners, families and communities, can help support pupils who may be vulnerable as part of their safeguarding responsibilities.
BENEFITS FOR SCHOOLS
- The resources on this site are intended to help your school.
- It will help you to fulfil the duty on publicly funded schools to promote community cohesion.
- The resources support the national curriculum.
- There is advice and suggestions for school leaders on how to adopt a whole school approach.
Extremism affects individuals and communities and can be a catalyst for alienation and disaffection, potentially leading to violence. There is a need to empower learners to come together, with their families and the wider community, to expose extremism to critical scrutiny and reject violence and intolerance in whatever forms they take and whether it be from animal rights activists, ecological protesters, Al Qaida-influenced groups, Irish republican terrorists, racist and fascist organisations or far-right extremist groups.
Publicly funded schools remain under a duty to promote community cohesion. Schools can give learners the opportunity to learn about different cultures and faiths and to debate shared values, so as to enable them to become involved in decision-making about important and real issues.
So the tasks facing schools and colleges are to:
- raise awareness;
- provide information;
- enable learners to make a positive contribution; and
- safeguard young people.
Values and leadership strategies underpin the ethos of the school to plays a positive role model in preventing extremism. These should be developed, understood and shared by leaders at all levels in the school; govenors, the senior leadership team and all staff and then made expicit to pupils, parents and the community served by the school.
Possible school actions:
- Creating explicit value statements that are inclusive of all students
- Reviewing curriculum and pupil participation and safeguarding processes
- Developing critical personal thinking skills and using curriculum opportunities including small group work
- Implementing social and emotional aspects of learning
- Exploring and promoting diversity and shared values between and within communities
- Challenging Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other prejudices
- Supporting those at risk of being isolated
- Building ties with all local communities, seeking opportunities for linking with other schools
- Using ‘Safe to learn’ anti-bullying strategies to minimise hate and prejudice based bullying
- Using restorative approaches to repair harm caused
The resources aim to build ties with all local communities, seeking opportunities for linking with other schools.
The resources promote a shared culture of openness and pluralism in the school and with the wider community, regardless of the specific status, location or faith affiliation of the school
Leadership & Management
Ofsted Inspectors assess the leadership and management of the school as part of their inspection *¹.
Possible school actions to demonstrate good leadership and management:
- Working with Safer School Partnerships police officers and Local Authority ‘Prevent’ staff to deliver training to staff, parents and governors.
- Facilitating a session of Act Now or Internet Safety with your local police , LA Prevent staff and inviting teachers, parents and governors.
- Promoting equal opportunity and tackling discrimination by using the ‘Where’s the line ?’ and ‘Watch Over Me’ resources to challenge the ideology that underpins extremist belief.
- Working with other agencies through safeguarding processes, such as CHANNEL, suitable for young people who are thought to be vulnerable to radicalisation.
- Developing positive relationships with the wider community by using one of the drama products, ‘Not in my name’ or ‘From one extreme to the other’ and inviting families, governors and extended school networks.
- Using the Manchester Metropolitan University lesson plans and teaching resources which help pupils to learn to understand others, to value diversity and promote shared values.
- Use the Safer School Partnerships police officers to link your school with other local partners and the third sector through Partners and Communities Together (PACT) schemes.
Effective school leadership and management could include:
- focusing on the leadership, values and ethos of the school;
- focusing on learning, teaching and the curriculum;
- focusing on learner support processes;
- focusing on the management of risks and responding to events;
- focusing on the relationship between the school and its community; and
- focusing on the evaluation of the progress being made.
*¹ - http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/framework-for-school-inspection-january-2012/
This resource pack focuses directly on the learning, teaching and curriculum aspects of a whole school approach. It is important, however, to see the connections between the learning, teaching and curriculum elements and the other dimensions of a whole school approach. Also it is important to recognize the links between the materials contained in this resource pack and other learning opportunities throughout the school.
These materials will also assist publicly funded schools in meeting their duty to promote community cohesion.
Learning, teaching and the curriculum
In approaching the issues outlined above through an entry point of learning, teaching and the curriculum therefore requires some thought to be given to teacher style. A curriculum and pedagogy for learners to support them in achieving the goals outlined above could include:
- promoting knowledge, skills and understanding to build the resilience of learners;
- exploring controversial issues;
- recognising local needs;
- challenging extremist narratives;
- promoting universal rights;
- promoting critical analysis; and
- promoting pro-social values.
Many schools already do a number of things to contribute to these goals such as helping learners develop knowledge of religion, history, geography, citizenship, being critically aware of the role of different media and knowledge of current affairs. Schools can also help learners develop the skills to critically evaluate controversial issues. They provide safe places for learners and they provide opportunities for learners to meet people from backgrounds other than their own.
These materials can work with and alongside existing schools’ practices and other appropriate programmes such as The PSHE Association by drawing on the relevant concepts, and content, processes, and curriculum opportunities in, for example citizenship and PSHE. The cross-curricular dimensions of the curriculum – media and technology, the global dimension and sustainable development and identity and cultural diversity - can also be taken into account. These proposals can also address relevant skills development including helping learners become independent enquirers and effective participators.
Teaching controversial issues
Effectively tackling controversial issues can help learners challenge the perceptions and misconceptions of their own and others’. To do this classroom practices can include:
- developing questioning techniques to open up safe debate;
- building confidence to promote honesty about a plurality of views;
- ensuring freedom of expression and freedom from threat;
- debating fundamental moral and human rights principles;
- promoting open respectful dialogue; and
- affirming multiple identities.
Staying Safe on the Internet and ACT NOW require trained facilitators to deliver the material suitably. If you go to the contact details section of the site, any of the police colleagues listed can provide advice and support. The facilitators are CRB checked and are currently provided free of charge. Schools are responsible for supervising classes and groups participating in these sessions at all times.
Our local Prevent teams have been working extremely hard under the CONTEST strategy to identify and prevent those vulnerable to extremism and are grateful for the continuing support from partners. There is a good level of quality reporting now being received and shared.
The National Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters (NCTP HQ), in conjunction with the College of Policing (CoP), have recently launched an e-learning module on 'Channel General Awareness' on the College's Managed Learning Environment for their audience of police officers and staff. Channel is a multi-agency process designed to safeguard individuals. It includes information on how Channel links to the Government's Counter-Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST) through the Prevent Strategy; it aims to stop individuals becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. It provides guidance on how to ‘recognise, understand and refer on’ around people who may be vulnerable to radicalisation.
This College of Policing package complements the Operation Grayling training being provided by Counter Terrorism Branch staff to police officers in Divisions and is suitable for Police staff and partners. It will take approximately 25 minutes to complete. The demands placed on all staff are acknowledged, however, given the current threat faced completion of this knowledge package and refreshment of previous advice is recommended to support further awareness and understanding. The package has been trialled internally and externally in Lancashire and feedback is very positive.
Logon for partners is via:- http://course.ncalt.com/Channel_General_Awareness
THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN RADICALISATION - BRIEFING NOTE FOR SCHOOLS (JULY 2015)
There is increasingly widespread recognition that terrorist and extremist organisations are utilising the Internet and Social Media for the radicalisation and grooming of Young People. Further to this, the Department for Education and the Home Office have issued the joint enclosed briefing note (see link below) for schools highlighting some of these aspects and actions schools should take.
(Non-Lancashire) Colleagues in other areas of the country should e-mail: WRAP@homeoffice.x.gsi.gov.uk for details of training available in their area
Local (Lancashire-region) contacts can be found using the 'Lancashire Channel WRAP Leaflet - Contact Details' included at the top of this page
Lancashire Constabulary ‘Prevent Team’ 01772 413366/9
The Police non-emergency number 101
Crimestoppers 0800 555 111
Anti-Terrorism Hotline 0800 789 321
For more about this project please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01772 531555