Statement of intent
3. Risk indicators
4. Making a judgement
6. Preventing radicalisation through learning
Statement of intent
Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation is part of the school’s wider safeguarding duties. We will actively assess the risk of children being drawn into terrorism. Staff will be alert to changes in children’s behaviour which could indicate that they may be in need of help or protection. Staff will use their professional judgement to identify children who may be at risk of radicalisation and act appropriately – which may include making a referral to the Channel programme. The school will work with the Local Children’s Safeguarding Board as appropriate.
Radicalisation: a process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social, or religious ideals and aspirations that reject or undermine the status quo or reject and/or undermine contemporary ideas and expressions of freedom of choice.
Extremism: holding extreme political or religious views; fanaticism.
Thompson Primary School’s designated safeguarding lead will undertake Prevent awareness training in order to be able to provide advice and support to other staff on how to protect children against the risk of radicalisation. The designated safeguarding lead will hold formal training sessions with all members of staff to ensure they are aware of the risk indicators and their duties regarding preventing radicalisation.
3. Risk indicators
Indicators of an identity crisis:
• Distancing themselves from their cultural/religious heritage
• Uncomfortable with their place in society
• Changing style of dress or personal experience to accord with the group
• Conversation increasingly focussed on a particular (potentially extremist) ideology
• Possession of materials or symbols associated with an extremist cause
Indicators of a personal crisis:
• Family tensions
• A sense of isolation
• Low self-esteem
• Disassociation from existing friendship groups
• Loss of interest in activities which they previously engaged with
• Searching for answers to questions about identify, faith and belonging
Indicators of vulnerability through personal circumstances:
• Local community tensions
• Events affecting their country or region of origin
• Alienation from UK values
• A sense of grievance triggered by personal experience of racism or discrimination
Indicators of vulnerability through unmet aspirations:
• Perceptions of injustice
• Feelings of failure
• Rejection of civic life
• Using derogatory language about a particular group
• Inappropriate forms of address
• Possession of prejudice related material
• Property damage
• Refusal to cooperate with teachers/adults requests
• Condoning or supporting engagement with extremist ideologies or groups
4. Making a judgment
When making a judgement, staff will ask themselves the following questions:
• Does the child have access to extremist influences?
• Does the child access the internet for the purposes of extremist activities (e.g. using closed network groups, accessing or distributing extremist material, contacting covertly using Skype, etc.)?
• Is there a reason to believe that the child has been, or is likely to be, involved with extremist organisations?
• Is the child known to possess or actively seek extremist literature/other media likely to incite racial or religious hatred?
• Does the child sympathise with or support illegal/illicit groups?
• Does the child support groups with links to extremist activity?
• Has the child encountered peer, social, family or faith group rejection?
• Is there evidence of extremist ideological, political or religious influence on the child?
• Have international events in areas of conflict and civil unrest had a noticeable impact on the child?
• Has there been a significant shift in the child’s outward appearance that suggests a new social, political or religious influence?
• Has the child come into conflict with family over religious beliefs, lifestyle or dress choices?
• Does the child vocally support terrorist attacks; either verbally or in their written work?
• Has the child witnessed or been the victim of racial or religious hate crime?
• Is there a pattern of regular or extended travel within the UK?
• Has the child travelled for extended periods of time to international locations?
• Does the child have experience of poverty, disadvantage, discrimination or social exclusion?
• Does the child display a lack of affinity or understanding for others?
• Is the child the victim of social isolation?
• Does the child demonstrate a simplistic or flawed understanding of religion or politics?
• Is the child a foreign national, refugee or awaiting a decision on their/their family’s immigration status?
• Does the child have insecure, conflicted or absent family relationships?
• Has the child experienced any trauma in their lives, particularly trauma associated with war or sectarian conflict?
• Is there evidence that a significant adult or other person in the child’s life has extremist views or sympathies?
Critical indicators include where the child is:
• In contact with extremist recruiters
• Articulating support for extremist causes or leaders
• Accessing extremist websites
• Possessing extremist literature
• Using extremist narratives and a global ideology to explain personal disadvantage
• Justifying the use of violence to solve societal issues
• Joining extremist organisations
• Making significant changes to their appearance and/or behaviour
At Thompson Primary School, we are committed to protecting our pupils from radicalisation through a process of early intervention.
All staff are encouraged to raise any concerns they might have about a child with the designated safeguarding lead. The safeguarding lead will then assess the situation and decide whether further action is required. If so, they will then discuss any concerns with the headteacher and decide the best course of action regarding a referral to external agencies.
Any decisions made will be made on a case-by-case basis and staff must be made aware that if they disagree with a decision not to refer, they are entitled to make a referral themselves where they harbour genuine concerns that a child is at risk.
6. Preventing radicalisation through learning
In addition to a vigilant programme of awareness of risk indicators and referrals where necessary, Thompson Primary is dedicated to protecting our pupils by engaging them in activities which help them to be more resilient to radical influences.
The following exercises are part of the school’s strategy to encourage tolerance and moderation of views in all children.
Exercise 1: Similarities and differences
This exercise can be carried out in a classroom environment where children are instructed to walk carefully; otherwise, it is appropriate during a physical education or outdoor lesson where children can be encouraged to run to the various stations.
Two or three stations should be clearly marked and all children should stand in a central group. Options should then be called out enabling children to move to the different stations based on similarities. For example, children can be told to move to station one if they have blue eyes, station two if they have green eyes and station three if they have brown eyes. Care should be taken to ensure that no children are left out or repeatedly isolated, and a range of trivial and more meaningful categories should be called. The purpose of the exercise is to reinforce the wide range of similarities different groups have, some of which are important to people’s sense of identity and some of which are not.
Examples of different categories could include:
• Everyone with a brother.
• Everyone with a sister.
• Everyone who enjoys eating sweets.
• Everyone whose family celebrates a religious day.
• Everyone who can speak more than one language.
• Everyone wearing shoes.
• Everyone whose family attends a place of worship.
The different groupings should be discussed at the end of the lesson with a focus on the fact that all people have similarities and differences, and that it is a positive thing that we are all unique.
Exercise 2: Similarities and differences
Children should move into pairs and then be asked to identify two visible and two ‘secret’ things that they have in common with their partner.
Examples of visible things they have in common could be that they both have two hands, blue eyes, are wearing a school uniform, have their hair in a ponytail, etc. Examples of ‘secret’ things they have in common might include the fact that they both have a sister, enjoy reading, like pets, ate cereal for breakfast, etc.
Wider discussion should then be opened with the class. Children should be asked whether they were surprised by the things they had in common with each other, what makes people similar, what makes people different and why it’s important that we are kind and respectful of people’s similarities and differences.
Exercise 3: Communities
This exercise should focus on the different communities in the classroom. A map of the local area should be used to mark important places which children in the class attend, for example, religious buildings, the park, the school, etc. The class should then discuss why different areas are important to different people.
A world map should also be used for children to point out where they were born, where they have been on holiday, where their mothers/fathers/grandparents/cousins are from, what countries are important to them and why.
A discussion should then be opened about how people from different places are similar to one another and how they are different. As always, a focus on the importance of being kind and respectful of other’s differences and similarities should be reinforced.