From 1 July 2015 all schools are subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty.
Local communities working in partnership with their local authorities, police, education institutions, and others are at the heart of stopping people becoming or supporting violent extremists.
The Government has produced detailed guidance (click here) to assist those organisations in their work. The guidance includes information on successful projects already underway that have been funded under the £6m pathfinder funding in 2007-08 and is supported by activity and funding from across government. This includes £12.5m to be spent to counter violent extremism and identify and support those individuals at risk across a range of key sectors, including in prisons, among youth offenders, and through community and police led projects.
This strategy outlines how we are responding to a range of factors that can draw people into violent extremism or pull people away from it, based around five key objectives:
- challenging the violent extremist ideology and supporting mainstream voices
- disrupting those who promote violent extremism and supporting the institutions where they are active
- supporting individuals who are being targeted and recruited to the cause of violent extremism
- Increasing the resilience of communities to violent extremism
- addressing the grievances which ideologues are exploiting
There is no place for extremist views of any kind in our academy, whether from internal sources – students, staff, Academy Councillors, or external sources - school community, external agencies or individuals.
Our students see our academy as a safe place where they can explore controversial issues safely and where our staff encourage and facilitate this – we have a duty to ensure this happens.
As an academy we recognise that extremism and exposure to extremist materials and influences can lead to poor outcomes for children and so should be addressed as a safeguarding concern as set out in this policy. We also recognise that if we fail to challenge extremist views, we are failing to protect our students.
Extremists of all persuasions aim to develop destructive relationships between different communities by promoting division, fear and mistrust of others based on ignorance or prejudice and thereby limiting the life chances of children and young people. Education is a powerful weapon against this; equipping children and young people with the knowledge, skills and critical thinking, to challenge and debate in an informed way.
We therefore will provide a broad and balanced curriculum, delivered by skilled professionals, so that our students are enriched, understand and become tolerant of difference and diversity and also to ensure that they thrive, feel valued and not marginalised.
We are also aware that children and young people can be exposed to extremist influences or prejudiced views from an early age which emanate from a variety of sources and media, including via the Internet, and at times students may themselves reflect or display views that may be discriminatory, prejudiced or extremist, including using derogatory language.
Any prejudice, discrimination or extremist views, including derogatory language, displayed by students or staff will always be challenged and where appropriate dealt with in line with our Safeguarding Policy and the Code of Conduct for staff.