Balderstone school is committed to ensuring that every member of our school family is kept safe and secure and one way we do this is by having “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent duty. The Prevent Duty is part of our whole school safeguarding policy.
Prevent is part of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. Its aim is to stop people becoming terrorists, supporting terrorism or being drawn into terrorist mindsets. Prevent is all about minimising the risk of people supporting extremist ideologies which condone violence and terrorism.
As such Prevent is an early intervention tool most commonly in the form of education, dialogue and mentoring, aiming to reduce the likelihood of terrorist or other violent actions in the future.
Prevent is just one of four elements which make up the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy comprising of four key elements:
Pursue: to stop terrorist attacks
Protect: to strengthen our physical infra-structure against a terrorist attack, and
Prepare: to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack
Prevent: to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes. The Prevent strategy covers all types of terrorism and extremism, including the extreme right wing, violent Islamist groups and other causes.
How does the Prevent strategy apply to schools?
From July 2015 all schools (as well as other organisations) have a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism. This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist and violent views the same way we protect them from drugs or gang violence. Importantly, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves.
What does this mean in practice?
Many of the things we already do in Balderstone help our children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy.
- Asking questions, being curious and respecting other people's views through our worship, PSHE and book spine curriculum
- Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity and hospitality to all
- Challenging prejudices and racist comments/or divisive language in our school
- Developing critical thinking skills and a strong, positive self-identity
- Promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, as well as British values such as democracy.
- Celebrating difference in our school and local community
- Asking BIG questions and not being afraid to challenge and contradict other points of view in a respectful manner
We will also protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils. We will carry out our Prevent duty in different ways, depending on the age of the children and the needs of our community. One of the ways in which our school carries out our Prevent Duties is through the promotion of fundamental British Values linked to our mission statement of Loving Each other.