Nursery ‘raised fears of radicalisation over boy’s cucumber drawing’

The Guardian is reporting claims that staff at a nursery school threatened to refer a four-year-old boy to a de-radicalisation programme after he drew pictures which they thought showed his father making a “cooker bomb”.

The child’s drawing actually depicted his father cutting a cucumber with a knife, his mother says, but staff misheard his explanation and thought it referred to a type of improvised explosive device.

On Friday the boy’s mother showed the Guardian video footage of her son in which he is playing happily on the floor of his home, and is shown a cucumber and asked what it is. “A cuker-bum,” he says, before going back to his toys.

The footage was taken by the mother at the family home in Luton after the nursery discussed referring the child to a de-radicalisation programme out of concerns that pictures drawn by him referred to explosions and an improvised explosive device known as a “cooker bomb”.

In between the odd tear and laugh of disbelief, the mother spoke about the experience, which she said had left her shaken and upset, and involved her being told at one point: “Your children might not be taken off you … you can prove yourself innocent.”

Of another exchange with nursery staff, she added: “I said: ‘When you look at me from where do I look like a terrorist?’ … and she said: ‘Well, did Jimmy Savile look like a paedophile?’”

…A spokesperson for the nursery, an independent one, said that no referral to Channel was made, adding: “Under statutory guidance, as reflected by our own safeguarding policies, early years providers are required to record – and if necessary, report – any incidents that they feel may warrant further attention or discussion.

“In this instance, after seeking advice from the appropriate agencies, we concluded that no referral was necessary…”

More (including the “cuker-bomb” video) at: Nursery ‘raised fears of radicalisation over boy’s cucumber drawing’


Seems a somewhat bizarre reaction from the nursery or is the issue with the policy that requires them to report incidents?

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Categories: Parenting, Pre-school and Safeguarding.


  1. Can’t wait for April 1 when we can expect a slew of such stories, perhaps.  Trouble is, everyone would think they were true!  Worse, they might be.

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