The Heights is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all our learners. We recognise that safeguarding against radicalisation and extremism is no different from safeguarding against any other vulnerability. All our staff, pupils and visitors are expected to uphold and promote the fundamental principles of human rights and British Values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Staff at The Heights have completed Prevent Training delivered by an external trainer from the Prevent Team, and senior safeguarding staff have completed additional Channel (Prevent; Multi-Agency Panel) training laid out by the government. We are vigilant about radicalisation and extremism, maintaining an ‘it could happen here’ mindset and working alongside each other and external agencies to ensure that our pupils are safe from harm.
For further information about the Prevent Duty please visit www.gov.uk
Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Policy
All schools need to be committed to providing a secure environment for pupils, where all children both feel and are kept safe. All adults working in schools have to recognise that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, irrespective of the role they undertake or whether they have direct contact with or responsibility for children & young people.
This advice & guidance will need to be applied within the context of each school’s existing arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children in line with the statutory duties set out in sections 157 and 175 of the Education Act 2002.
The school’s Safeguarding Policy will need to draw upon:
- Guidance from the ‘Blackburn with Darwen LSCB Procedures’ – Updated May 2015
- The Prevent duty. Departmental advice for schools and childcare providers – DfE Advice June 2015
- Keeping Children Safe in Education. Statutory guidance for schools and colleges – DfE Guidance for September 2023.
- Channel Duty Guidance: Protecting people vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism 2020
- DCSF resources:
- Learning Together to be Safe
- Tackling Extremism in the UK
- Teaching approaches that help build resilience to extremism among young people – DfE Research Report 119 published in May 2010
The following definitions create clarity when discussing radicalisation and extremism:
Ideology – a set of beliefs.
Extremism a vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.
Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.
Terrorism – an action that endangers or causes serious violence damage or disruption and is intended to influence the Government or to intimidate the public and is made with the intention of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.
School Ethos and Practice
When applying this guidance we use the following accepted Government definition of extremism which is:
‘Vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs; and/or calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas’.
The Government Prevent Strategy can be viewed on our ‘Policies’ page under ‘PREVENT’ with further information available on the same page under ‘Channel PMAP’ policy. Search ‘Prevent Duty Government UK’ for even more information.
There is no place for extremist views of any kind in any of our schools, whether from internal sources – pupils, staff, governors or external sources – school community, external agencies or individuals. Pupils need to see their school as a safe place where they can explore controversial issues openly and where teachers encourage and facilitate this. We have a duty to ensure this happens.
Schools will recognise that extremism and exposure to extremist materials and influences can lead to poor outcomes for children and so these issues must be addressed as a safeguarding concern as set out in both this document and the school safeguarding policy.
It is recognised that if we fail to challenge extremist views, we are failing to protect our pupils. 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 young people. Education is a powerful tool to challenge this; equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and critical thinking, to challenge and debate in an informed way.
All schools will therefore provide a broad and balanced curriculum, delivered by skilled professionals, so that pupils are enriched, valued, tolerant of difference, understand diversity, and do not feel marginalised.
We are aware that young people may be exposed to extremist influences or prejudiced views from an early age, which can emanate from a variety of sources, including the media and internet. At times pupils may themselves reflect or display views that can be discriminatory, prejudiced or extremist, including using derogatory language. Any prejudice, discrimination or extremist views displayed by pupils or staff will need to be challenged and where appropriate dealt with in-line with policies such as the Pupil Behaviour and Attendance Policy or the Staff Code of Conduct.
As part of safeguarding responsibilities school staff must be alert to:
- Pupils disclosing their exposure to extremist actions, materials or the views of others outside of school, such as in their homes or community groups, especially where pupils have not actively sought these out;
- Graffiti symbols, writing or art work promoting extremist messages or images;
- Pupils accessing extremist material online, including through social networking sites and any other digital means;
- Parental reports of changes in behaviour, friendships or actions and requests for assistance;
- Partner schools, local authority services, and police reports of issues affecting pupils in other schools or settings;
- Pupils voicing opinions drawn from extremist ideologies and narratives;
- Use of extremist or ‘hate’ terms to exclude others or incite violence;
- Intolerance of difference, whether secular or religious or (in line with our equalities policy) views based on, but not exclusive to, gender, disability, homophobia, race, colour or culture;
- Attempts to impose extremist views or practices on others;
Schools are strongly advised to closely follow any locally agreed procedure as set out by the Local Safeguarding Children Board, including criteria for safeguarding individuals vulnerable to extremism and radicalisation. In the event of concerns about a person at risk of becoming radicalised, contact will be made with Lancashire Constabulary’s Prevent Team to consider whether it is appropriate to refer the individuals to the Channel process. Channel is a bespoke multi-agency approach which uses early intervention to protect and divert people away from the risks they face. Referrals can be made by anyone who has concerns. The Channel Panel is chaired by the local authority and meets at regular intervals to discuss referrals on individuals who have been identified as being at risk of radicalisation but have not committed any terrorism offence. For further details visit:
All staff in schools should strive to eradicate the myths and assumptions that can lead to some young people becoming alienated and disempowered, especially in situations where children may find it harder to challenge or question radical influences. This will be achieved by good teaching, including PSHE, but also by adopting the methods outlined in the Government guidance ‘Teaching approaches that help build resilience to extremism among young people’ published by the DfE.
These teaching approaches will help pupils build resilience to extremism and give them a positive sense of identity through the development of critical thinking skills. It is important to ensure that all staff are equipped to recognize extremism and are skilled and confident enough to challenge it.
Schools will need to be flexible enough to adapt their teaching approaches, as appropriate, to address specific issues, enabling them to become more relevant to current issues of extremism and radicalisation. For this reason schools are advised to utilise appropriate/suitable resources in this undertaking, accessing various materials such as:
- Educate Against Hate – Prevent Radicalisation & Extremism
The aim of schools should be to:
- Make a connection with children & young people through good teaching and a pupil centered approach;
- Facilitate a ‘safe space’ for dialogue; and
- Empower pupils with the appropriate skills, knowledge, understanding and awareness
This approach will need to be embedded within the school ethos, so that pupils know and understand what safe and acceptable behaviour is within the context of extremism and radicalisation. This will work in conjunction with each school’s approach to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils as defined in Ofsted’s School Inspection Handbook and will include the use of assemblies to help further promote this rounded development of pupils. The objective will be to build mutual respect and understanding and to promote the use of dialogue, not violence, as a form of conflict resolution. This can be achieved by using a curriculum which includes:
- Citizenship programmes;
- Open discussion and debate;
- Work on anti-violence and restorative approaches;
- Focused educational programmes.
Schools will also need to work with local partners, families and communities in their efforts to ensure better understanding and embrace the local context and values in challenging extremist views and to assist in the broadening of their pupil’s experiences and horizons. Schools will need to support pupils who may be vulnerable to such influences as part of their wider safeguarding responsibilities. Where staff believe a pupil is being directly affected by extremist materials or influences, they will need to ensure that that pupil is offered mentoring. Additionally, the school should seek external support from the Local Authority Prevent Coordinator and the Education Safeguarding Officer.
Schools are expected to promote the values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs by teaching and encouraging pupils to respect one another and to respect and tolerate difference, especially those of a different faith or no faith. It is our responsibility to keep pupils safe and prepare them for life in modern multi-cultural Britain.
Use of External Agencies and Speakers
Schools may encourage the use of external agencies or speakers to enrich the experiences of their pupils. However, they will need to vet these individuals and any organisations which provide such learning opportunities or experiences for pupils. The vetting processes is to ensure that we do not unwittingly use agencies or individuals that contradict each other with their messages or that are inconsistent with, or in opposition to, the school’s values and ethos and to ensure that this is of benefit to all pupils.
All schools will therefore assess the suitability and effectiveness of input from external agencies or individuals to ensure that:
- Any messages communicated to pupils are consistent with the ethos of the school and do not marginalise any communities, groups or individuals;
- Any messages do not seek to glorify criminal activity or violent extremism, or seek to radicalise pupils through extreme or narrow views of faith, religion, culture or other ideologies;
- Activities are matched to the needs of pupils;
- Speakers are evaluated by the school to ensure they are
By delivering a broad and balanced curriculum, augmented by the use of external sources, schools will strive to ensure that pupils recognise risk and build resilience to manage any such risk themselves, appropriate to their age and ability, and to also help pupils develop the critical thinking skills needed to engage in informed debate.
Where pupils have concerns of extremism or radicalisation they will be encouraged to make use of the school’s own internal systems to ‘whistle blow’ or raise any issues in confidence with the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Staff and governors should make use of the DfE dedicated telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to raise any concerns relating to extremism. Concerns can also be raised by email to:
Please note the helpline is not intended for use in emergency situations, such as a child being at immediate risk of harm or a security incident, in which case the normal emergency and local safeguarding procedures should be followed, including contacting 999.
Role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead
Helen Morris, The Designated Safeguarding Lead works in line with the responsibilities as set out within the DfE Guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ for September 2023.
The Designated Safeguarding Lead should be the ‘expert point of contact’ for school staff who may have ‘Prevent’ concerns around an individual child’s safety or well-being.
Whole school in-service training on safeguarding and child protection will be organised for staff and governors at least every three years and will comply with the prevailing arrangements agreed by the Local Authority and the Local Safeguarding Children Board. This should include Prevent training on extremism and radicalisation and an understanding of its wider safeguarding implications.
The arrangements for recruiting all staff, including volunteers, to all schools will follow the local authority guidance for safer recruitment best practice in education settings, including, but not limited to ensuring:
- that DBS checks are always made at the appropriate level
- references are always received and checked; and
- completing and maintaining a single central record of all such vetting checks.
Schools will be alert to the possibility that persons may seek to gain positions within their school so as to unduly influence their school’s character and ethos. They will also need to be aware that such persons would seek to limit the opportunities for their pupils, thereby rendering them vulnerable to extremist views and radicalisation.
By adhering to safer recruitment best practice techniques and by ensuring that there is an on-going culture of vigilance within their school and staff team, they will minimise the opportunities for extremist views to prevail.
Role of Governing Body
Members of the school Governing Body will undertake appropriate training to ensure they are clear about their role and the parameters of their responsibilities, including their statutory safeguarding duties.
The Governing Body will promote the school’s ethos and values and will support the school in tackling extremism and radicalisation.
In line with the provisions set out in the DfE guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2023’ the governing body will challenge the school’s senior management team on implementation of this advice & guidance and also monitor its effectiveness.
Governors will also consider any further new advice & guidance from the Local Authority following any new legislation or guidance or in response to any quality assurance recommendations pertaining to the adherence of this advice.
Pan Lancashire Safeguarding Policies and Procedures
The Pan-Lancashire Safeguarding Policies and Procedures also provide specific advice on how to manage and respond to concerns about children and young people who may be vulnerable to violent extremism or affected by the radicalisation of others – including the ‘Channel’ referral and support intervention processes.
Staff who identify concerns when working with children should initially speak to their school Designated Safeguarding Lead but for further guidance on how to respond appropriately please search ‘Prevent Duty Government UK’ or search ‘Channel Prevent UK’
Review Date- 09/06/2023
For further information, please see our ‘Policies’ page to access ‘PREVENT’ and ‘Channel’ related support materials, or contact our Designated Safeguarding Lead, Helen Morris, directly on 01254 261655 or Helen.Morris@theheightsfreeschool.org
Likewise, for any emergency concerns contact 999 immediately or for any direct concerns regarding prevent do not hesitate to contact our local PREVENT team on firstname.lastname@example.org