This page is designed to give parents information about the Prevent duty placed upon schools. Look out for further information which will be shared in Highfields e-newsletters throughout the year. The Prevent approach at Highfields is very much part of our curriculum, culture and processes. We see it as an integral aspect in promoting the safeguarding and well-being of our children.
Highfields staff undertake annual Prevent Strategy training, at both national and local level. This year's training was led by Justin Nixon, Sandwell's Prevent Education Officer, on 20th September 2023.
What is the Prevent strategy?
Prevent is a government strategy designed to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorist or extremist causes. At Highfields, we also believe that this work extends to supporting children's thinking skills so that they grow up without developing extreme views. 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?
Since July 2015, all schools (as well as other organisations) have had a duty to safeguard children from radicalisation and extremism. This means we have a responsibility to protect children from extremist, extreme or violent views in the same way as we protect them from drugs or gang violence. This is part of our wider efforts to safeguard children and protect them from harm.
Importantly, as an educational setting, we can provide a safe place for pupils to discuss these issues so they better understand how to protect themselves. We believe it is important for children to have an environment in which they feel safe to discuss challenging views.
What does this mean in practice?
Many of the things we already do in school to help children become positive, happy members of society also contribute to the Prevent strategy.
- Exploring other cultures and religions and promoting diversity
- Challenging prejudices (behaviour which contradicts any aspect of Equality Law)
- Developing 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
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, extreme or terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils. Different schools will carry out the Prevent duty in different ways, depending on the age of the children and the needs of the community.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Prevent relate to British values?
Schools have been required to promote British values since 2014, and this will continue to be part of our response to the Prevent strategy.
British values include:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs
Isn’t my child too young to learn about extremism?
The Prevent strategy is not simply about discussing extremism itself, which may not be appropriate for younger children. It is also about teaching children values such as tolerance and mutual respect. The school will make sure any discussions are suitable for the age and maturity of the children involved.
Is extremism really a risk in our area?
Extremism can take many forms, including political, religious and misogynistic extremism. Some of these may be a bigger threat in our area than others. We will give children the skills to protect them from any extremist views they may encounter, now or later in their lives.
If you need to report illegal or harmful information, pictures or videos you’ve found on the internet. You can make your report anonymously by following this link Report online material promoting terrorism or extremism - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Sandwell Council Prevent Webpage
Sandwell Council has its own Council Prevent webpage www.sandwell.gov.uk/prevent. If you have any concerns, the referral form and referral process map (attached below) will be available on that page from 1st December 2023 as well.
Highfields and DfE Prevent Documentation
- Highfields Preventing Extremism and Radicalisation Policy can be accessed below
- DfE Prevent Duty - The Prevent duty: safeguarding learners vulnerable to radicalisation - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- DfE Prevent Duty Guidance - Prevent duty guidance: England and Wales (2023) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Channel Guidance - Channel and Prevent Multi-Agency Panel (PMAP) guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Education Against Hate - Educate Against Hate - Prevent Radicalisation & Extremism
- ACT Early - ACT Early | Prevent radicalisation
- Internet Matters.org - Resources to deal with radicalisation - Internet Matters
- British Council - Keeping safe: how to spot and prevent online grooming and radicalisation | British Council