The Sunday Times is reporting that new guidance being sent to schools today makes clear that teachers will be legally required to identify and report children thought to be vulnerable to recruitment by terrorists…
The guidance is being issued as part of Prevent, the government’s counterterrorism strategy, following news that several British school children have travelled to join jihadist fighters in Syria (although also covers an example of children at risk of recruitment into far-right extremism).
The paper says that a manual has been sent to every local council outlining the training to be given to all schools and setting out steps to help staff identify children vulnerable to extremism. It is also said to contain case studies of young people at risk.
Schools, it says, will be required to build children’s resilience to radicalisation and make sure that pupils accept British values. They will also be expected to have a member of staff responsible for implementing the Prevent strategy and report any concerns to the local council or to the police and social workers.
Christine Blower is quoted:
“The jury is out as to whether extra statutory requirements are the most effective way to help young people stay safe, think critically, or reject engagement with groups who advocate violence. Already, in many schools, Prevent is causing significant nervousness and confusion among teachers. The strategy is felt by many to be counterproductive.”
But Russell Hobby appears more welcoming:
“Schools are used to keeping their students safe from harm and this is a version of that.This means looking out for students rather than conducting surveillance on them.”
More at: Teachers told to name pupils at risk of radicalisation (subscription may be required)
Your reactions to these new requirements being placed on schools in an effort to avoid children becoming radicalised?
Sensible measures or something you feel nervous about or even fear could be counterproductive?
Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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